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. 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. A number of these policies entail those assets that are trust funded as well as insurance policies. 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 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. In most cases, it is because the beneficiaries might not be conversant with the whole process. Be ready to always invest your time and energy in this whole process. Complete trust and disclosure is necessary in this whole process. It will usually take between half a year to eighteen months to fully settle this probate process. In case of any family feud, the process will usually take a longer period. There needs to be total accountability in this process. There a more probability of a beneficiary contesting the trust in place. Freezing of assets will turn out to be one of the best options. 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 can also place a temporary restraining order or even an injunction. This will surely protect the assets within the trust from being wasted.
The purpose of a probate is there in order to collect and pay any debts owed. Upon this settlement, the property will then be shared as per the directions given by the deceased. This is where the executor will be named. The beneficiaries will also have the right to contest this choice. It is necessary that this will be proven. These probate cases may actually last for quite a while. You will discover more creditors will be reached through this period. You need a plan to avoid a probate. The process becomes relatively easier and faster. Come up with a trust to allow you move all the property to it. You will then convert the accounts to pay-on-death. This needs to extend to establishing a joint tenancy. Make sure you are more conversant with estate laws. You will learn that it is more appropriate to get a top-class probate attorney to help you out when challenging a will.