Who Are The Key Players in the Probate Process

Date Added: July 20, 2011 05:49:16 PM
Author: admin
Category: Wills and Probate

When an individual dies, depending on their circumstances, their estate often enters a period known as "probate." This is the time during which their assets -- cars, homes, investments, and so on -- are transferred from the deceased person to their estate. These things can then be sold, or distributed to the heirs set forth in the person's will.


All details provided as a reference source only, contact an experienced White Plains Probate Attorney where required.

The process can sometimes be long and exhausting, and many people seek to avoid it. However, those who are currently engaged in the probate process will encounter a few key players along the way that will ensure a smooth transition and represent the best interests of all those involved.

Personal Representative (Probate Executor)

This person is essentially responsible for overseeing the administration of a probate estate. They'll be interacting with the probate attorney and the courts on a regular basis in order to ensure the smooth acceptance of legal documents pertaining to the estate. They're also responsible for obtaining appraisals on property (cars, homes, etc.) and paying any debts left behind by the deceased. As the process continues, the personal representative will be responsible for distributing the estate's assets to the heirs named in the deceased's will.

Personal representatives are paid for their services, and this rate is determined individually by each state. The payment of thees fees can be a percentage of the estate's final value, an hourly rate, or even a flat fee. Personal representatives can choose to forego this fee, although the length and breadth of the probate process usually dictates that it's an unfeasible option.

Probate Clerk

One of the primary people with whom the probate representative will interface, the probate clerk is the person who accepts, processes, and files all related paperwork at the courthouse. They are essentially the first person that the personal representative will deal with, and they'll double check paperwork for any errors.

Probate Attorney

Essential for any probate estate, a probate attorney works closely with the personal representative of the estate. That's because both people are typically responsible for identifying property and assets, valuing and inventorying those assets, and providing that inventory to a court. The probate attorney will also validate the deceased individual's will and identify the heirs to their estate. They will identify and arrange for payment of any taxes, and will distribute the property at the end of the probate process.


The probate process can be long and complicated, and especially taxing on families. This article