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. However, there are assets that will not be included in the probate. 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. 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. 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. It also takes a lot of both trust and disclosure. The executor may take between six and eighteen months to settle this estate. Presence of family disputes could derail the process even further. There needs to be total accountability in this process. There is also a possibility of a beneficiary contesting a trust. As such it will also be necessary for you to freeze the assets. You can do it through placing a lien on this property. This will hinder the trust from either selling or refinancing by the trustee during this entire period. You also have the option of going for a temporary restraining order or the most common injunction. This will make sure that the assets within these trusts will not be susceptible to wastage.
The purpose of a probate is there in order to collect and pay any debts owed. Once this is done, the property will be divided in accordance to the wishes of the deceased. You will learn that the naming of the executor will be done at this stage. Beneficiaries can always contest this choice. The will has to be verified. It takes a while to settle probate processes. 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 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. You will learn that it is more appropriate to get a top-class probate attorney to help you out when challenging a will.