There are a number of important things you must do when a loved one dies, such as provide emotional support to family and friends, plan a funeral or memorial service, and manage the personal and financial affairs of your dearly departed. Most people do not begin to consider the daunting and complex task of navigating the probate process until after the funeral. Often times, the process of walking the estate through probate is confusing and emotional. The executor has just been faced with the death of someone near and dear to her and it is understandable if she is not emotionally ready to handle the probate process alone.
Hiring an experienced estate law attorney to help guide you through the probate process will ease the burden off of you tremendously. An experienced attorney knows what steps to take from filing the Last Will and Testament with the Probate Court to preparing an Inheritance Tax Return, if need be. It is important to consider that the executor does not pay for the attorney herself, rather, the fees for the attorney come out of the assets of the estate, just as the fees you will earn as executor.
Here are a few Surrogate Court websites for more information on the probate process: