Guide to the Probate Process
This is a procedure that is meant to settle the affairs of a deceased person that is mostly pushed by the courts. 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. The probate does not take into account certain assets. 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. The probate process will consider all the assets that do not have a designated tag. It is for this reason that you need to always have a will.
The beneficiaries will always be given around four years to file a probate. You will learn that a good number of beneficiaries may not be sure of exactly what they want. It actually takes time and energy. This process will definitely involve full disclosure and trust. It will usually take between half a year to eighteen months to fully settle this probate process. Presence of family disputes could derail the process even further. 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. 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 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. Once this is done, the property will be divided in accordance to the wishes of 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. You need a plan to avoid a probate. This makes the process more convenient. 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. An established joint tenancy will do the magic too. Always get to understand estate laws. In case you want to challenge the will, you will need an experienced attorney by your side.