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 aims at ensuring that the estate settles its obligations and that its assets are distributed justly according to the law. It is the duty of the court to make sure that all eligible beneficiaries get an equal share of the estate. The probate does not take into account certain assets. 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. For as long as an asset is not designated, then it will undergo this probate process. This is why it is always important for you to create a will.
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. 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. In case of any family feud, the process will usually take a longer period. You will need to be accountable to the last cent. There is also a possibility of a beneficiary contesting a trust. As such it will also be necessary for you to freeze the assets. You can do it through placing a lien on this property. This will hinder the trust from either selling or refinancing by the trustee during this entire period. You will have the freedom to ask for a restraining order that will be in existence temporarily or get an injunction. This will make sure that the assets within these trusts will not be susceptible to wastage.
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. 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. The will has to be verified. 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. Initiate a trust to allow you move the property. After that you will have to convert the account to be paid upon death. An established joint tenancy will do the magic too. Make sure you are more conversant with estate laws. If you want to challenge the will you are advised to get a good probate attorney.