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 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 will always include all solely owned businesses, investment accounts as well as all the real estate 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. If you are able to avoid family disputes, then the process will be relatively shorter. There needs to be total accountability in this process. There is also a possibility of a beneficiary contesting a trust. 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 also have the option of going for a temporary restraining order or the most common injunction. This will make sure that the assets under the trust are not vulnerable to any kind of waste.
The purpose of a probate is there in order to collect and pay any debts owed. After that, the remaining property will be shared among the beneficiaries as requested by the deceased. You will learn that the naming of the executor will be done at this stage. Beneficiaries can always contest this choice. It is necessary that this will be proven. These probate cases may actually last for quite a while. You will learn that this is the only way to give creditors a chance to come forward. You need a plan to avoid a probate. This makes the whole process quite easy and fast. Come up with a trust that will give you room to move this property. After that you will have to convert the account to be paid upon death. This needs to extend to establishing a joint tenancy. Always get to understand estate laws. If you want to challenge the will you are advised to get a good probate attorney.
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