Probate is the process that takes place after a person has died and the probate assets need to be administered. In the probate process, the probate assets of the decedent are gathered so that taxes can be paid and the claims on the estate can be received, analyzed and paid, if appropriate. Lastly, the assets of the decedent are distributed to those persons named in the Last Will & Testament of the decedent or by statute, if there is no Last Will & Testament.
If there are assets that need to be probated, it is best that you have a current, valid Last Will & Testament that clearly expresses your desires. This helps in the proper administration of your estate and avoids the many problems that can arise when you have no Last Will & Testament or an out of date Last Will & Testament.
With proper planning, many assets do not need to go through probate. Many of your assets can be titled so that they pass to the intended beneficiary automatically, without the need for probate. This can be done by designating the beneficiary while living and applying the proper designation to those assets.
Contact our office to speak with one of our experienced attorneys to discover how we can assist with the probate process and take some of the burden off of your shoulders during this difficult time.