Guide to the Probate Process
This is a process used by courts to settle the affairs of a deceased person. It seeks to ensure that the estate is able to cover all the obligations of the deceased aside from having the assets being fairly distributed among the beneficiaries. It is the duty of the court to make sure that all eligible beneficiaries get an equal share of the estate. There are certain assets that will not be included in the probate. Some of these policies include insurance policies and those assets that are funded by a trust. Probate assets will always include all solely owned businesses, investment accounts as well as all the real estate owned by the deceased. Any asset that is not designated will automatically undergo this probate process. It is for this reason that you need to always have a will.
The beneficiaries have a period of up to four years to file a probate. Sometimes it is because these family members are not sure of what they want. It actually takes time and energy. It also takes a lot of both trust and disclosure. 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. You have to learn to cover each cent available. There a more probability of a beneficiary contesting the trust in place. As such it will also be necessary for you to freeze the assets. You can do it through placing a lien on this property. For the whole period, it will be important to learn that the trustee will not be able to sell or refinance the trust. You can also place a temporary restraining order or even an injunction. This will make sure that the assets under the trust are not vulnerable to any kind of waste.
A probate process seeks to settle all financial obligations. After that, the remaining property will be shared among the beneficiaries as requested by the deceased. You will learn that the naming of the executor will be done at this stage. It is within the rights of the beneficiaries to contest this particular choice. There will also be a need for the will to be proven valid. The probate process will always take time. You will discover more creditors will be reached through this period. Avoiding probate will also require a plan. This makes the process more convenient. Come up with a trust to allow you move all the property to it. You will then convert the accounts to pay-on-death. This needs to extend to establishing a joint tenancy. 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.