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Debunking The Myths About Probate

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Probate is a process involving the administration of a deceased's estate. Like any area of law, the probate process has its fair share of misconceptions. When hiring a probate attorney, you should try and clarify the following myths about probate.

Your Estate Will Not Pass Through Probate If You Have a Will

It doesn't matter whether you document all your wishes in a will, naming your assets and beneficiaries. Your estate will not avoid probate. Probate involves validating your will.

Before property passes to beneficiaries, all taxes and debts must be settled from your estate. Furthermore, the court must accept the will as valid. Your probate attorney ensures your will isn't invalidated by following the appropriate procedures for signing. Additionally, your lawyer ensures that no disgruntled family member comes out to claim that you were unduly influenced while executing the will.

The State Gets Your Property If You Die Without a Will

The state doesn't take over your property when you die. However, state law determines those who will get your property. In many cases, your spouse and children qualify to inherit your estate. If you die unmarried and without children, your estate goes to your siblings and parents.

It's vital to take time to plan your estate because you will be able to name a person that the state may not consider. For example, estate planning allows you to name a guardian to manage your estate for your minor children. If this decision was left up to the state, your estate may be run by a guardian you wouldn't have considered in your will.

The Probate Process Takes Years

Delays in the probate process vary depending on the period provided by state law. This period allows creditors sufficient time to make claims. Probate begins after a deceased death and may take at least four months.

After this period, the estate is closed after the personal representative gathers the assets and settles all debts and taxes. This process can take another few months. In many cases, probate lasts for years because of family fights, when it involves a large estate, and where the estate in question continues to get income.

In Conclusion

Dying without a will makes it difficult for your beneficiaries to receive their share of your estate. However, drafting a will doesn't mean you will avoid the probate process. To ensure your wishes regarding your estate are fulfilled to the letter, seek the advice of a probate attorney.