Probate is a court-managed process through which personal and real property is passed on to heirs in the absence of a trust or an estate plan. While most of our clients set up their estates through a living trust to avoid probate, many estates do go through probate, a trying process, to say the least. T.S. Wrobel Law Group will guide you and your family through the confusing and arduous process that is probate. Unfortunately, probate is a public, expensive, sometimes lengthy process which is best avoided by having a living trust in place.
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT IN PROBATE
Though probates vary, some involve locating the Will and making a filing with the probate court. Once the Will has been accepted, the court appoints a personal representative. After that, all of the heirs need to be formally noticed in writing. They have the opportunity to review the Will and make any appropriate challenges or contests.
After debts and taxes are paid, assets are distributed in accordance with the Will or intestacy statutory law. Some assets, like life insurance and retirement accounts, might not be affected by probate and pass directly to a named beneficiary. Other kinds of assets, like those held in joint tenancy, will pass directly to the other joint tenant. All of these assets are counted as part of the estate for purposes of calculating whether taxes are due or regarded as part of any existing or future Medicaid applications. Additionally, estates over a certain threshold have to be probated whether they are taxable or not.
We will guide you through every step of probate, from lodging the Will and notifying heirs, to transferring assets to the intended beneficiaries. If you’d like a FREE, initial consultation to discuss the next steps, please feel free to contact us.