should i ask for a list of assets and payouts before signing a probate paper?
2 Answers from Attorneys
You should see a lawyer before signing anything.
Not to be rude, but its not fair to ask any lawyer any question when the lawyer has not seen what you are talking about. What is this? A petition for probate and application for letters?
If so, then it is premature to ask for a list of assets and payouts. The list of assets is called an inventory. The list of payouts is called an accounting. These documents are filed later in the case after the probate petition is filed and the clerk has issued letters. If you have some kind of other paper, what is it?
Inventories are typically filed approximately 90-days after letters are granted. The inventories list property that the deceased owned at the time of their death. An accounting is filed, usually on an an annual basis, i.e., within 1 year after the decedent's death. If the estate administration has not been completed in 1 year, the accounting is caleld an annual acconuting. If there is only 1 accounting filed when the estate is ready for closure, then its called the final accounting.
Inventories and accountings are matters of court record and if these things have already been filed, then simply contact the court and get a copy of them if they are in the estate file. If you are out of state, I don't know if the clerk will be willing to send them to you. Its possible that the court will charge you a fee for each page that they copy.
If there is no accounting/inventory filed or if its too early, then you need to take the paper you have to a probate attorney who practices in the county where the probate of the estate is pending and pay him/her to review the paper and court file and apprise you as to what is going on and what the paper says.