Probate and Administration
Simply put, probate is the legal process your estate goes through after you pass away and have left behind a will. It is a court proceeding, where a judge will first validate your will, and then authorize your Executor (the person you name to oversee your final wishes) to pay all debts and taxes. Your remaining property will be allocated as per the instructions in your will.
If you do not have a will, a friend or family member will have to petition the court through a similar, “Administration” court proceeding where a judge will appoint someone to distribute your assets according to the inheritance laws in your state.
It is critical to understand that your will must go through probate. However, that said, the process is considerably simplified, or possibly even completely avoided, when you have a robust Estate Plan in place. The more you do now, in terms of planning, the easier it will be on your loved ones after you pass. Creating a will or trust makes a challenging life event just a little easier on your loved ones and will give you peace of mind about the future.
One way to lessen the worry and stress of probate, or even avoid it altogether, is by creating a Trust. Any assets you put into your Trust will bypass probate. For more about Trusts, click here.
If you have already prepared an Estate Plan, you’re ahead of the game. Probate is always easier if you have a will and/or trust that clarifies your wishes. If you haven’t yet created your estate plan and/or have questions about probate, we welcome you to contact us.
While we aim to educate and equip all families with trusts to help avoid probate, we know that there are lots of scenarios where families require assistance through the probate process. At Law Offices of Leslie Sultan, we offer excellent customer service and supportive attorneys who help families get through the tough probate and grieving process with as much information, communication, and support as needed so they don’t feel overwhelmed and alone. This is our promise to clients: to protect your family and safeguard your legacy both with estate planning and through any probate proceedings, if necessary.