Help with the Probate Process
"You cannot prevent the birds of sorrow from flying over your head, but you can prevent them from building nests in your hair."
Explanations Every Step of the Way
At New Chapter Legal we understand that it’s overwhelming when a loved one passes away, which only makes the legal aspects of the process more difficult. Our goal is to make probate as simple and straightforward as possible, which includes answering all your questions, explaining the process, including the applicable court forms, rules, and procedures.
If there’re multiple ways you can proceed, we’ll explain your options and offer recommendations, but you’ll always make the ultimate decision about what to do. Additionally, we can refer you to other helpful services and professionals that you might need to assist you with the non-legal aspects of the process.
We can fill out some or all the court forms required for the probate process for you, ensuring that they’re both completed and filed correctly. All court forms will be sent to you for review before they’re filed to make sure the information on them is accurate and so any questions you have can be answered.
Most likely, the probate process will require you to file one or more Accountings that show the court all the money that went into and out of an estate during a certain period of time. So long as you provide us with all financial statements, transaction registers, receipts, etc., we can do all of the math for you, fill out the forms, and make sure your Accountings are done and filed properly.
Example Probate Process
This is one example of what the regular estate administration process could look like in New Hampshire, and is provided for information purposes only.
Executor Files the Last Will & a Petition
The Executor files the Last Will and a Petition for Estate Administration with the probate court and the Last Will becomes publicly available.
Executor Gets a Bond
The probate court may require the Executor to get a bond, which is an insurance policy for the value of the assets in the estate.
Executor is Appointed
The probate court issues a Certificate of Appointment that gives the Executor authority to administrate the estate of the person who passed away. The probate process cannot get going until the Executor is appointed. Currently, it can take up to 2 months for an Executor is be appointed.
Executor Creates and Files an Inventory
The Executor may need to submit a list of every major asset in the estate to the probate court within 90 days of appointment.
The Estate Stays Open for 6 Months
By law, an estate must stay open for 6 months to allow creditors time to file claims and collect debts. This also means that none of the assets in the estate should be given to any beneficiaries for at least 6 months.
Executor Files a Final Accounting
The Executor submits documentation to the Court showing what expenses have been paid and what, if any, income the estate has received, such as interest or dividends.
Assets are Distributed to the Beneficiaries
After the probate court accepts and approves the Final Accounting, the assets in the estate are finally distributed to the beneficiaries. Each beneficiary signs a Receipt for the assets they receive, which the Executor submits to the probate court.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does probate mean the same as estate administration? What's an estate?
Is there a way to qualify for a simpler probate process?
Yes, under certain circumstances you can “waive” a large portion of the process or use a slightly simplified process called “summary” estate administration.
Do you always have to go through probate when someone passes away?
My loved one passed away and now there's a dispute about their Last Will or Trust. What should I do?
We're sorry for your loss and that you’re dealing with a dispute on top of everything else. We highly recommend that you speak to a lawyer that can advise you on what to do, and can offer you extra support during this time. Unfortunately, New Chapter Legal doesn’t take on any probate matters where there is a dispute about the validity or terms of a Last Will or Trust. However, we can provide you with referrals to other attorneys who may be able to help.