Do you want to know whether you will have to undergo probate now that your loved one has passed and leaves a last will behind? The first question that a reasonable probate attorney will ask you is whether there was a trust set up or just a Will. If there was just a Will, the answer is, yes, you will have to go through probate! Please keep in mind the time frame and costs associated with probate can vary from county to county and state to state, and the process and laws governing the process.
The value of the estate plays a vital role in this. For example, estates with a total asset value under $50,000 in New York are not subject to an entire proceeding and can file small estate forms. This article will help educate you on the importance of probate. You will understand the significance of probate and how it is essential with or without the Will. Read on ahead to find out more.
Importance of a Probate of the Will
There seems to be a lot of confusion and misunderstandings when it comes to probate. Probate is defined as the process or a legal procedure that provides a beneficiary some legal authority to ownership over the assets or power to take care of the deceased person’s affairs. Typically, it is best to have an experienced attorney helping you file the necessary documents for probate. Probate is a time-consuming process and can come with complications caused by family disagreements. The first thing you need to know is that you will need the original Will and Death Certificate. It is essential to remember not to remove any staples from the original Will as this may disqualify it. Please do so without eliminating staples if you need to make copies for your records. When obtaining the death certificate, ask for multiple originals as you may need them during the process. Mistakes can delay or complicate the process when filling out the necessary paperwork for filing.
Typically, within the Will, the deceased has named a person or people they wish to become the executors of the Will. Just because you are called an executor doesn’t mean that you must undertake the role. You can step away from the part, allowing another family member to take your place. An executor assumes a fiduciary position and is responsible for making sure all debts and taxes are paid off before dispersing any of the assets held by the estate.
Creating a list of assets is a Very Important Factor.
When you want to establish the requirement of a proper Probate, it is essential to ensure that you make a detailed and critical list of the things or assets owned by the deceased. Then you will have to find out some other essential details. These are the details that will provide you with some information about the ownership of the estate, such as how the apartment or house was deeded. Were the assets named under the deceased’s sole name, or were there some joint names? The help which has joint names can have tenants who are in common. This is important as it will give you a better understanding of the estate’s value.
As we discussed before, if the total assets in the estate are under $50,000, you can avoid an entire proceeding and need only to file paperwork for small estates. They are knowing how properties are deeded plays a significant role as they might be outside of probate and pass directly to the tenant in common. For example, a married couple has two kids, and one spouse passes away. The deceased leaves a Will behind, leaving all their assets in equal shares to the spouse and the surviving children. If the house is deeded to tenants in common and both the deceased and spouse’s name are on the deed, then the house passes directly to the spouse and isn’t considered part of the estate, nor does it have to undergo probate.
As you can see, there are a lot of factors to determine whether or not you will have to Probate a Will to gain access to the estate and what is considered part of the estate. If you are reading this and wish to consult with an experienced attorney, we offer free consultations. It is also important to remember that it is possible to plan to avoid probate altogether. Probate can be time-consuming and costly planning ahead can save you time and money.