Guide to the Probate Process
This is a process advanced by the courts in a bid to settle the issues of a deceased person. It purposes to make sure that the estate is able to cover all the obligations as well as fairly distribute the assets in accordance 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. 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. This is why you will find it prudent to have a will before you pass away.
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 will involve both time and energy. This process will definitely involve full disclosure and trust. The execution of this entire process might last for a period between six and eighteen months. In case of any family feud, the process will usually take a longer period. There needs to be total accountability in this process. There is also a possibility of a beneficiary contesting a trust. This will make it necessary to have the assets frozen. 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 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. Upon this settlement, the property will then be shared as per the directions given by the deceased. The executor will be indicated at this stage. The beneficiaries will also have the right to contest this 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. Probates can be avoided by prior planning. This makes the whole process quite easy and fast. Initiate a trust to allow you move the property. You will then convert the accounts to pay-on-death. An established joint tenancy will do the magic too. Always learn the changes in estate laws. If you want to challenge the will you are advised to get a good probate attorney.