What is probate court
Probate is the legal process of administrating disbursal of an estate, while resolving all claims to assets and property. The process includes: validating the authenticity of a will and other documents, interpreting the intent and instructions contained in them, and following governmental court statutes, in the absence of any missing instruction. The purpose of the probate court is to transfer title of assets from the deceased/incapacitated person’s name, to the living beneficiaries. Probate occurs in the state of your legal residence, as well as in any state where you own real estate or interests. Probate can be very frustrating and has many disadvantages. One disadvantage is it makes all records public, letting everyone know who received what. This can open the door to financial predators. Properly crafted documents will minimize this legal process and can leave family matters private.
The reason for properly structured pre-planning is to make sure everything is in order. These are some of the things that need to be considered:
- Validating a will
- Authenticity of documents
- Avoiding public interference
Even with everything in order, a will is not valid in actual transfer of title until after fully passing the probate process. There will always be the possibility of challenges, even if it seems like it should be straightforward, such as in the case of an only child. Probate law and procedures cover many topics, including estate administration, probate litigation, contested wills and estates and estate litigation. Preparing ahead of time will minimize the cost and time of this process greatly and get your family moving on as quickly as possible.