Probate Administration Attorney – How Hiring One Can Help Your Loved Ones
Probate is the court-supervised process of administering a decedent’s estate. When a person dies, their estate must go through the probate administration process. The first step in probate administration is to file a petition with the court. The petitioner is usually the estate executor but can also be an heir or beneficiary.
The court will then appoint an administrator to oversee the probate administration process. The administrator will inventory the deceased person’s assets and pay any debts and taxes owed. Once they pay off all debts and taxes, the administrator will distribute the remaining assets to the estate’s heirs. They will also need to file regular reports with the court detailing their actions and progress.
One could avoid probate if the deceased person had a valid will or trust at the time of death. It is essential to consult with an experienced probate administration law firm to ensure proper handling of the probate procedure.
What Happens To Your Properties After Death?
When a person dies, their belongings must go through the probate process. The probate court designates a legal representative to manage the deceased person’s estate in the absence of a Last Will. Otherwise, the executor can legally assume this responsibility.
Experienced lawyers from Weiner Law can help you navigate the complex process of probate administration.
Taxes: What You Need To Know About Taxes & Probate
One of the critical aspects of probate administration is taxes. One of the tasks of the administrator is to pay any outstanding taxes.
The probate process can be complex, but understanding the basics can help you handle it more smoothly. With some planning, you can ensure that your loved ones are taken care of after you’re gone. But you don’t have to do it alone. You can get people involved to ensure the proper handling of your probate. One of them is your executor.
Executors & Their Duties
An executor is a person appointed by the court to carry out the terms of a will. With that being said, you must understand your duties and responsibilities if someone selects you as their executor.
The first thing you should do is locate and secure the estate’s assets. These assets include finding any property, stocks, bonds, or other assets the deceased person owns.
Once you have located all the assets, you must pay any debts the estate owes. You will settle outstanding bills, mortgages, taxes, or other obligations. If there are not enough assets to pay off all the debts, the creditors will have to take a loss. They may only get some of the money owed to them. You, as an executor, must treat all creditors equally and ensure they get as much money the deceased owed them as possible.
After paying off all debts, you can allocate the estate’s assets to the decedent’s heirs.
In summary, the duties of an executor are to:
- File the deceased’s will with the probate court.
- Notify the beneficiaries of the will.
- Collect and inventory the deceased’s assets.
- Pay any debts and taxes owed by the estate.
- Distribute the remaining assets to the beneficiaries according to the terms of the will.
The key persons you must consider when drafting your wills are your beneficiaries. They should know their rights so they know what to expect when you have passed away.
Beneficiaries & Their Rights
The death of a loved one is always a difficult time. After the initial shock and grief have passed, the next step is determining who will be responsible for administering the estate. This task can be daunting, especially if there is no will. So you must assess firsthand who the beneficiaries are and educate them about their rights.
Beneficiaries have the right to receive information about the estate and the probate administration process. They also have the right to object to actions taken by the executor or administrator that they believe are not in the estate’s best interests.
If you are a beneficiary in a will, you must consult with an experienced probate administration law firm to ensure your rights are protected.
The Pros & Cons Of Probate Administration
The probate administration process can be complicated and time-consuming, but it offers advantages over other asset distribution methods.
One advantage of probate administration is that it gives the estate’s executor or administrator apparent legal authority to manage the estate and distribute its assets. This power can be helpful when disagreements among the heirs about the estate division.
Probate can also help clear any confusion about what happens to a person’s assets after death. It gives beneficiaries a chance to resolve any disputes that may arise.
Through probate, your creditors will receive a notice of the decedent’s death and an opportunity to file claims against the estate.
Finally, probate can provide peace of mind for those who are grieving. It provides closure for the beneficiaries and allows them to move on from their loss.
Although probate administration has many benefits, it also has some disadvantages. For one, your will contents are made public during probate. This arrangement can be challenging for families who wish to keep their affairs private.
Another disadvantage is that beneficiaries may have to wait months to receive their share when processed through probate. But it’s worth the wait. And to make your process faster, you have to make sure not to commit the common mistakes in probate administration.
Things To Do To Avoid Mistakes In Probate Administration
Probate administration can be complex and confusing, but common mistakes can make it even more difficult. To avoid delays, do the following things when going through probate.
- Don’t procrastinate. The sooner you get started on the probate process, the better. If you wait too long, tracking down assets and liabilities can be more challenging, and the estate may suffer.
- Be organized. Gather all necessary documents and information before you begin the probate process. Arranging these documents will make it easier for you and your attorney to handle probate properly.
- Communicate with your family members. If disagreements about your estate management, it’s essential to communicate openly and resolve them before moving forward.
Alternatives To Probate Administration
If you’re still pondering if probate administration is for you, you can also look at some alternatives to asset management after your passing.
Create a revocable living trust. This type of trust allows you to transfer ownership of your assets to the trust as long as you are still alive.
Your beneficiaries will receive the assets in the trust directly without undergoing probate.
If you transfer ownership of an asset to another person, that asset cannot and will not be part of your estate when you pass away. It would not be part of the probate process as it belonged to the chosen heir.
Transferring ownership of assets to a joint owner with the right of survivorship. This process means that when one joint proprietor dies, the other proprietor automatically becomes the sole owner of the asset. You can do this with bank accounts, investment accounts, and real estate property.
Make a durable power of attorney for financial and healthcare decisions. This document allows someone else to handle your finances and make medical decisions if you become incapacitated.
Designate someone as the beneficiary of your assets. Your heirs will inherit your assets after you die without going through probate. You can do this with bank accounts, life insurance policies, and retirement accounts.
Transfer on death for real estate. This legal designation allows you to transfer ownership of your property to someone else after your passing. If you’re thinking about using transfer on death for your real estate, there are a few things you need to know.
First, you need to designate a beneficiary. This person will inherit your property when you pass away. Second, you must correctly establish your title as “transfer on death.”
Transfer on Death (TOD) designation for your motor vehicles. You will need to designate a beneficiary for your car, keep your registration up to date, and list the TOD beneficiary on the registration form. Also, if you should ever want to change the beneficiary or revoke the TOD designation altogether, update your registration accordingly.
Work With An Experienced Probate Administration Law Firm
In conclusion, probate administration can be complicated and time-consuming, but settling a deceased person’s estate is required by law. If someone close to you selects you as their executor in a will, seek advice from an experienced probate attorney to help you through the process.
Weiner Law has worked with numerous clients who had to go through probate administration during their most vulnerable times. But they didn’t face those proceedings alone. The firm’s experienced and compassionate attorneys made the process easier for them.
They can help you, too. Give them a call today to get you started on probate administration.