Probate courts decide how to distribute the assets of the deceased as best as possible according to the will. All property that belonged to the individual in question will pass through probate court, although there are some exceptions to this rule in some states. If there is no valid will at the time of death, state law determines how property is distributed among heirs. After the probate process has ended, the executor of the will (the individual or law firm charged with following the terms of the will) will transfer funds and deed ownership to the heirs as stipulated in the will.
Read the will to determine how assets are intended to be distributed. Even if the deceased informed heirs in words or writing that an asset would be distributed to them, if that allocation is not included in the will, it can't be executed legally. In addition, all debts of the estate must be discharged before assets can be distributed to heirs.
Contact the executor to determine the status of the assets after the probate process has completed. The executor is obligated to discharge the debts of the estate and then follow the terms of the will.
Ensure that assets are distributed as close to the stipulations of the will as possible if you are the executor. Money can be transferred directly to heirs without any special documentation, but complex assets like houses require more work.
File quitclaim deeds for assets with legal titles, such as land and houses, to remove the name of the deceased from the deeds and transfer ownership to the heirs as stipulated in the will. The executor is the only person authorized to follow this procedure.
John Hewitt began freelancing in 2008, writing about subjects ranging from music to stock trading, the energy industry and business. His ghostwritten work has appeared all over the Web. He attended New York University, pursuing a bachelor's degree in history.