Dealing with the will and estate
Do this as soon as possible after a death
This usually takes between 3 and 12 months, longer if the will or estate is complex
A will is a legal record of what someone wants to happen to their assets after their death. This can include real estate, personal items, shares, pets and other assets.
Locating the will can be one of the first tasks of family, trusted friends or the executor, if that is known. This is because the will might also include information about the funeral or memorial service.
Most importantly, a will should include details of the executor, and any substitute person or entity. It is their responsibility to manage the disposal of the estate within the terms of the will. This will include applying for probate.
In situations where the will could be contested, you may want to get professional legal advice.
When there is no will
A person who dies without a will is referred to as dying intestate. In this situation, their affairs may be managed by a court-appointed official under Letters of Administration.
If disputes occur, the process to dispose of the estate can take time and be costly, both in financial and emotional terms.Learn more about steps to take when there is no will