Guide to the Probate Process
This is a procedure that is meant to settle the affairs of a deceased person that is mostly pushed by the courts. It aims at ensuring that the estate settles its obligations and that its assets are distributed justly according to the law. Th court will make sure that they equally divide the estate to all the eligible beneficiaries. However, there are assets that will not be included in the probate. Such include insurance policies and assets funded by a trust. You will learn that the only things included in the probate are investment accounts, businesses and real estates that are all solely owned by the deceased. Any asset that is not designated will automatically undergo this probate process. This is why you will find it prudent to have a will before you pass away.
The beneficiaries will always be given around four years to file a probate. In most cases, it is because the beneficiaries might not be conversant with the whole process. Be ready to always invest your time and energy in this whole process. Complete trust and disclosure is necessary in this whole process. The execution of this entire process might last for a period between six and eighteen months. If you are able to avoid family disputes, then the process will be relatively shorter. There needs to be total accountability in this process. There a more probability of a beneficiary contesting the trust in place. Freezing of assets will turn out to be one of the best options. This can be done through placement of a lien on the property. This will mean that the trustee cannot sell or refinance the at least for the period of the lien. You also have the option of going for a temporary restraining order or the most common injunction. This will surely protect the assets within the trust from being wasted.
The purpose of a probate is there in order to collect and pay any debts owed. Once this is done, the property will be divided in accordance to the wishes of the deceased. The executor will be indicated at this stage. The beneficiaries will also have the right to contest this choice. It is necessary that this will be proven. These probate cases may actually last for quite a while. With this window of time, more creditors will be allowed to come forward. You need a plan to avoid a probate. The process becomes relatively easier and faster. Come up with a trust to allow you move all the property to it. After that you will have to convert the account to be paid upon death. Joint tenancy is a great idea to harbor. Always get to understand estate laws. You will learn that it is more appropriate to get a top-class probate attorney to help you out when challenging a will.