|FAQ Frequently Asked Questions||What is Probate?|
|Probate is a court-supervised process for transferring a deceased personís assets to the beneficiaries listed in his or her Will. Typically, the Personal Representative (in many states, the Personal Representative is often referred to as the executor) named in your will would start the process after your death by filing a petition in court and seeking appointment. Your Personal Representative would then take charge of your assets, pay your debts, file required tax returns, pay all tax liability and administrative expenses, account for the assets and the estate administration to all interested persons, and distribute the rest of your estate to your beneficiaries. If you were to die intestate (that is, without a will), a relative or other interested person could start the process. In such an instance, the court would appoint an administrator to handle your estate. Simpler procedures are available for transferring property to a spouse or for handling estates in which the total personal property assets amount to less than $50,000 and the real property assets amount to less than $75,000.00.|
The probate process has advantages and disadvantages. The probate court is accustomed to resolving disputes about the distribution of assets fairly quickly through a process with defined rules. In addition, the probate court reviews the personal representativeís handling of each estate, which can help protect the beneficiariesí interests. One disadvantage, however, is that probates are public. Your estate plan and the value of your assets will become a public record. Time can be a factor as well. A probate proceeding generally takes longer than the administration of a Living Trust. Discuss such advantages and disadvantages with an estate planning lawyer before making any decisions.
| Please contact our office so that we may provide you with an affordable fee quote for your estate plan. We can prepare any additional real property deeds to supplement your Wills and/or Trusts package. ||