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PROBATE & PROBATE AVOIDANCE

Protect your loved ones from the hardship of distributing your estate, or get help managing the estate of a loved one.

 

HOW WE CAN HELP:

  • Assist with the probate process to ease the burden on your loved ones

  • Speed up the process for you, ensure that it’s done right the first time, and make sure that your application gets approved

  • Navigate restrictions so that you qualify for all of the assistance you need

When you or a loved one passes away, an estate’s transition, called probate, goes into effect. Usually, the family is responsible, alongside a probate attorney, for distributing probate assets. Probate can go smoothly if funds and wills were created and are accessible, but not all people prepare for it. 

 

Probate starts with submitting a last will and testament, if there is one, and then moves onto organizing assets and property into a catalog of inventory. Creditor, attorney, and court fees are paid first. Only then is the estate legally transferred to beneficiaries and heirs.

 

We are here to help you plan to avoid probate or represent you in probate court. 

 

PROBATE ASSETS VS. NON-PROBATE ASSETS

Probate assets include assets for which the deceased person was the sole owner or jointly owned assets which lacked provisions for automatic succession of ownership at death. Non-probate assets include jointly held property for which ownership includes the “right of survivorship.” In this situation, the surviving owner automatically owns the property when the other owner dies.

 

We can help you avoid probate by creating a revocable living trust to plan for the management of your assets in the event of your incapacity or death. Avoiding probate with the help of a qualified attorney is especially important for high-net-worth individuals. 

 

Many jointly owned properties and certain types of bank accounts can be set up so that they will automatically be transferred to the person you wish to inherit them at your death.

 

PROBATE AVOIDANCE

Probate can be a lengthy process. Beneficiaries must wait until the process of paying back creditors during probate is completed to receive their inheritance. Financial costs are involved in commencing and administering a probate proceeding including filing court fees, the fees of the Personal Representative, and the fees of the attorney administering the estate. 

 

When a Will goes through probate, it becomes a public record. In contrast, Trusts can avoid the process of probate and remain private. It is always recommended to avoid ancillary probate for out-of-state real and tangible personal property owned.

 

MAKE IT SIMPLE

Legislation has made the probate process as painless as possible, but there are always hiccups along the way. We’ll take the stress out of it by helping when wills are challenged, documents are lost, or creditors get confused.

 

The law can be confusing, especially in times of grief, and people might try to exploit your situation. We make sure that doesn’t happen and provide complete clarity about your affairs. We also make probate faster, so you pay less in court fees.

 

We understand the loss of a loved one is difficult and painful. We never want you to put off your own care for lengthy, contested probate. We’re committed to supporting you and ensuring that the process goes as smoothly as possible.

COMMON QUESTIONS

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HOW CAN I PLAN TO AVOID OR MINIMIZE PROBATE?

The best way to ensure that your family won’t be tangled up in a costly and lengthy probate case is to have a fully funded, revocable living trust. Your living trust should be fully funded with your assets. Any assets that are still in your name will have to go through probate, so make sure that all of your assets are titled in your trust.

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WHAT IF THERE IS NO WILL?

If a family member dies without leaving a will and there are significant assets or property that you believe you have a claim to, it would be wise to hire an estate administration attorney to protect your interests. 

 

If a person dies without a will and has no living family members closer than a first cousin, relatives who believe they have a claim will have to prove so in a kinship hearing. This is a lengthy process requiring multiple hearings, but with experienced attorneys on your team, you will be spared much of the difficulty. 

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DO I NEED AN ATTORNEY FOR PROBATE?

It’s recommended because the process is so formalistic, thorough, and complex, and you don’t want to expose yourself to liability.

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