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Probate Process Step Four: Initial Hearing

March 17, 2014
This blog post is part of a series of posts on the probate process.  This is the fourth step.  You may start the series with the Initial Attorney Meeting, the Personal Representative’s role, and the Initial Documents.

An initial meeting with the Registrar may not always be required depending on the type of probate administration and the county administering the probate.  However, if an in-person meeting is required, it is important to ask who needs to attend.  Sometimes it is only the attorney, sometimes the attorney and Personal Representative both need to attend.

If there is an initial court hearing, you should check to see if your county requires you attend the hearing.  Some counties require the attorney and Personal Representative attend, some do not.  If both the attorney and Personal Representative both need to attend, then the Personal Representative may need to answer questions about the Petition.  Your attorney will guide you through any required questions.

At this initial hearing, the person who is named as Personal Representative becomes the legal Personal Representative of the decedent’s estate and may begin administering the estate.  Someone may be named as Personal Representative, but they do not have any powers until the court appoints them as Personal Representative and they get the Letters Testamentary (or Letters of General Administration).  These “Letters” give the Personal Representative the ability to pay bills, move and distribute assets, open bank accounts, sell real estate, and file/pay taxes.

Once the Personal Representative has been appointed by the court and the Letters have issued, the majority of the work, the administration, of the estate begins.

If you have questions regarding the probate process, please contact Claire Tralle at 612-787-2553 to set up a consultation.

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