What Is the Importance of a Death Notice When Probating a Will?


Quick Answer

A death notice is an important step in probating a will because it alerts unknown creditors of the probate process, states About.com. One of the important steps in probate is paying off all the final bills of the deceased.

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What Is the Importance of a Death Notice When Probating a Will?
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Full Answer

Probate is the legal process that authenticates a will and distributes assets of the estate to the heirs, states CNN Money. Most probate proceedings are straightforward and inexpensive, says the American Bar Association. Before assets can be distributed to heirs, however, the decedent's estate must clear up all debts such as credit cards and medical bills, points out About.com.

Laws concerning the probate process vary from state to state, and although only 18 states have adopted the Uniform Probate Code as of 2015, many others have adopted portions of the code, reports Cornell University Law School. In both UPC and non-UPC states, as part of the probate proceedings, the personal representative of the estate must notify known creditors and publish a notice in a local newspaper for the benefit of other possible creditors, according to Nolo. The representative must then file proof that the notices were mailed and published. Once the representative pays all bills, pays any relevant estate and death taxes, and files a final tax return for the decedent, if the estate is still solvent, any remaining assets are divided among the decedent's heirs, as stated by About.com.

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