Professionals – Getting Started & Next Steps

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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 court that will offer an equal division between eligible beneficiaries. There are certain assets that will not be included in the probate. A number of these policies entail those assets that are trust funded as well as insurance policies. Probate assets include real estate owned by the individual, investment accounts as well as solely owned businesses. 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. In most cases, it is because the beneficiaries might not be conversant with the whole process. It actually takes time and energy. Complete trust and disclosure is necessary in this whole process. The executor may take between six and eighteen months to settle this estate. 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 is the freedom to contest a trust by a beneficiary. As such it will also be necessary for you to freeze the assets. This can be done through placement of a lien on the property. This will hinder the trust from either selling or refinancing by the trustee during this entire period. You also have the option of going for a temporary restraining order or the most common injunction. This will make sure that the assets within these trusts will not be susceptible to wastage.

The financial obligations of the deceased will always be settled through a probate process. Once this is done, the property will be divided in accordance to the wishes of the deceased. This is where the executor will be named. Beneficiaries can always contest this choice. It is necessary that this will be proven. The probate process will always take time. You will learn that this is the only way to give creditors a chance to come forward. Probates can be avoided by prior planning. 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 learn the changes in estate laws. If you want to challenge the will you are advised to get a good probate attorney.