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. The probate does not take into account certain assets. Such include insurance policies and assets funded by a trust. Probate assets include real estate owned by the individual, investment accounts as well as solely owned businesses. The probate process will consider all the assets that do not have a designated tag. This is why you will find it prudent to have a will before you pass away.
You will have close to four years to file a probate as a beneficiary. You will learn that a good number of beneficiaries may not be sure of exactly what they want. It will involve both 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 will need to be accountable to the last cent. There is also a possibility of a beneficiary contesting a trust. This will make it necessary to have the assets frozen. 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 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. The beneficiaries will also have the right to contest this choice. It is necessary that this will be proven. 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 that will give you room to move this property. Make the accounts to bear the property of being paid upon death. Joint tenancy is a great idea to harbor. Always learn the changes in estate laws. In case you want to challenge the will, you will need an experienced attorney by your side.