Probate means “the official proving of a will”, but involves a wide variety of cases. They can include probating a loved one’s will, or probating a loved one’s estate that did not have a will. It can also include Guardianships in all forms, including minor guardianships and adult guardianships depending on each client’s needs and concerns. Our experienced Probate Lawyers can help clients and their families navigate these probate court processes in an easy and efficient way.
Sometimes, a person dies without a will. Often, this causes concern for families as they do not know where the property of the person that died should go. This can cause stress and anxiety for family members. In every state, there are “Intestacy” statutes that govern the distribution of property of a person that died without a will. The people who collect by statute could be a spouse, children, parents, or even siblings. It is best to avoid these “intestate” issues whenever possible. Our experienced attorneys can assist you in developing an estate plan, but if no plan exists we can help families navigate the complex probate process.
There are three general focus points for probating an estate. First, a probate estate must be opened by filing the appropriate paperwork with the probate court and notifying the beneficiaries and the heirs of the loved one’s passing. An executor is then appointed if there is a will, or an administrator is appointed if there was no will. Next, the assets of the decedent must be gathered. The focus is on debts and taxes that must be paid, and whether there is enough money to cover all the taxes and debts of the estate. If not, properties or assets can be sold to pay these debts. Once these complex steps are completed, the final focus is on the distribution of the remainder of the estate pursuant to the decedent’s will or pursuant to the intestacy statute.
If you have been named an executor, or wish to become an administrator for a decedent who had no will, contact our office today to see how our firm can help assist you with the process.