Probate, First Steps. Have you been declared the personal representative of an estate? Where do you start? Now that you know what probate is and what to expect during the process, let’s discuss the first steps. Hi, my name is Rich Barnes, owner, broker of Realty Experts in West Allis, WI 53214 And I’ve been selling real estate for over 20 years. We’ve dealt with quite a few homes with probate over those years. Your first step will be to go to a family probate court in the county where the deceased person lived. This is where you’ll file the will, along with a copy of the death certificate and a petition to be formally appointed as the personal representative or PR. Once you’ve done this, you’ll receive letters when your request is approved. These letters are proof that your legal authority to collect and manage the estate’s assets. Keep in mind that it can take up to several weeks or more for you to receive your letters. Your responsibility as the personal representative is to collect, inventory, and protect the assets of the estate and pay valid debts and taxes. After your debts and taxes have been paid, you will distribute the remaining property as the will directs. You will want to have a strong team of professionals available to help you through this process. A good probate attorney, a tax professional, and if the estate includes real estate, a strong realtor can help make the process much easier for you as the personal representative. Also, be sure to seek the advice of a lawyer or an attorney as I am not one, just giving helpful advice. I’m Rich Barns, Realty Experts. And if you’d like to watch more videos on probate, just click the learn more button below. And as always, you can rely on rich.com. Thanks, and you have a great day.