Probate Is a Legal Process That is Needed Before a Will Can Be Implemented
The legal process that allows the resolution of all claims and distribution of the property of a deceased person, who has made a will, is called probate. It is a legal document and it necessary before any action can be taken on the conditions of the will.
When any person who has assets and properties that can be passed on to heirs, dies, and has made a will, indicating his or her desire for their distribution, a probate becomes necessary, though it can be avoided if the estate is of a comparatively small value. This value differs from state to state and country to country. Probate is normally applied for by the executors appointed in any will, though in case where there is no will, the next of kin may ask for such an order from the court.
One of the first questions that heirs or those having an interest in the assets of the deceased person is, how long the process will take, and what it involves. The probate process has to go through three main stages. In the first stage all information about the assets and liabilities of the deceased person has to be collected, and a proper valuation of the estate arrived at. In the next stage tax returns have to be completed, which can depend on the size of the estate. After this an application has to be made to the court, which will examine the relevant documents and raise any queries or issues. All assets have to be then collected, debts, if any, to be paid off, and then the remaining estate can be distributed as per the terms of the will.
To start the process the original will has to be deposited with the court, and a petition filed, which must be published in newspapers. For a period of four months after this, any creditors can file a claim against the estate. By this time the executors or appointed administrators have to collect all details about the estate, and also ensure that the estate is maintained in good condition, and any income due to the estate has to be collected. During this period, the will can be contested, and this can delay the probate process.
On completion of this period, and if there are no disputes, the executors or administrators have to apply to the court for permission to distribute the assets as per the terms of the will. All details of these have to be submitted and court approval obtained for the distribution. The assets can be distributed once this approval is obtained. The probate process should normally take about six months, but can last longer if the will is contested, claimants not notified or property remains unsold.
Property that is jointly owned does not have to go through the process of probate, and probate is also not applicable to policies or other benefits where beneficiaries are specifically named. Probate is made through courts where the deceased person was a permanent resident. Properties owned in other states have to be sent for probate in that state after the probate is obtained from the state where the deceased was resident. In case there is no will, the distribution of the property will follow the laws of the state in which the property exists.
Probate is a procedure that requires a lot of formal procedures to be completed. That is the reason, it is better if such matters are handled by probate lawyers, who are fully conversant with the procedure. Probate can be avoided by making a living trust that holds all assets of the person, while he or she is living. To get this started contact a Miami Probate Attorney | Miami Guardianship Attorney now
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Doctors Make Mistakes, Sometimes They Are For A Reason That Could Have Been Avoided
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