Probate is the process of dealing with the estate of someone who has passed away. It involves setting up a trust and probating the will to transfer ownership of property onto it. |
If there are no issues with your will, probating it shouldn't be too difficult. Yet, if there are any disputes about how things should be done. Or where the money should go then probate may become necessary.
Here's everything you need to know about what happens when someone dies without leaving a will.
What Is The Probate?
Probate is the legal process of proving that a will is valid. It's a court process, and it can take up to six months or longer to complete.
When someone dies without a valid will in place, their property is distributed according to state law (and sometimes federal law).
You may be wondering: "Who needs probate?"
Well, everyone does! If you die without having made a will or trust for yourself or your family members' benefit and you did not leave any instructions about what should happen after death.
Then your estate will be administered by an executor named by the court from among its members until those matters are resolved.
If there are multiple heirs with competing claims on assets such as real estate holdings together worth several million dollars each, then no one gets everything when it comes time for distribution.
Why Deal With The Probate?
Probate is a legal process that transfers the assets of a deceased person to their beneficiaries. It's required before you can access these assets.
If you are the executor of an estate, you need to complete probate before distributing any property. Otherwise, only those with rights in the estate will be able to access it.
Can Wills Be Contested?
You can contest a will if it is not valid, or if it was not signed properly. If the will was not made by a mentally sound person, then it may also be contested.
If your family wants to contest the validity of your will, they may do so by presenting evidence that shows that you did not sign your written document (the "testament") in front of two witnesses who were present at the time and date indicated on the document.
They must also show that there wasn't enough time between when you signed over all assets to someone else and when they became dead.
That is if someone died within 2 months after signing over everything to another person who had already been living with them for 5 years before death occurred.
Keeping Costs Down
Professionals are paid a fixed fee for their services. So, it's important to find someone who will be able to complete the job promptly.
The cost of probate varies depending on the complexity of your estate and what has been included in your will or trust. Estate agents can help with this part of the process as well as help you sell the property if needed. They'll also help make sure everything goes through smoothly after all expenses have been paid out by heirs (if necessary).
Do I Need An Estate Agent To Sell My Property If It Goes Through Probate?
If you want to sell your property without the help of an estate agent, then you will need to appoint a trustee.
The trustee is someone who can sell your property on your behalf and distribute any money made from its sale back into their bank account or other legal entity.
If the property is held in a trust (which means it's owned by another person), then that person may also be able to sell it for you if they are given authority by law. However, this only works if there are no other owners of record.
So, if there are any co-owners still living or claiming rights over part of what's been left behind after death, they'll need to step forward before anything can happen with regard to keeping hold of those assets!
What Are Probate Delays?
A will is a legal document that states who you want to inherit your assets, and the way the funds should be divided up.
If you don't have a will, or if it isn't properly structured, then probate may be necessary to determine who gets what. Probate can take a long time if there are complex legal issues at play in your estate plan.
In some cases, probate can even take years as much as five years! This means that if you want to make sure that your loved ones receive something from your estate when they should get it (and avoid paying expensive fees), then having an effective estate plan has significant benefits beyond just saving money on taxes at death.
It also protects those left behind from spending unnecessary amounts of time dealing with their deceased relative's financial affairs after they're passing away.
Probate Can Be Avoided If The Will Is Correctly Structured And Sufficient Assets Are Placed Into Trusts If you want to avoid probate, it's important to remember that your will needs to be properly structured and sufficient assets need to be placed in trusts.
The first step is drafting a valid will with the help of a will attorney or other legal professionals.
Then you need to make sure that your estate plan includes all required elements such as a valid last name, age at death (if over 85), spouse(s) and children, address where the body can be found; funeral costs (if applicable); pets' names/descriptions, etc., as well as any other information relevant for making decisions about funeral arrangements after death.
We hope this article has helped you to understand probate and how it can be avoided. If you are worried about the return on your investment, don't be!
By planning and putting the right safeguards in place, you will be able to enjoy peace of mind knowing that your assets are protected from creditors or family members looking for an easy way out.
About The Author
Jim Turner is a USA-based author of Legal issues related to estate planning, will & trust, business law, and elder law. Jim Turner does his best writing on these topics last will and testament Michigan which helps users to find the best solutions to their FAQ on estate planning, contesting a will, living trust, and more about legal family issues.
The author can be reached through rochesterlawcenter.com
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