It’s challenging to get over the loss of someone close and loved. And when it comes to managing and distributing their estate and finances, the grief can turn even harder to bear. If you are a designated executor in a departed person’s will, you need to take care of a lot of responsibilities. Before starting the process of distributing the assets to the heirs or paying off creditors, you should be aware of all legal channels you need to go through. But before anything else, you should find out if the estate needs to go through probate or if the deceased person has used estate planning to prevent the probate process. The best way of finding the answers to these questions is to look for a probate litigation attorney near me.
Probate is a process to legally distribute and administer an estate of a person after he has departed from this world. Although the probate process is not always required, the estate will go through this process if it involves real-estate property. Since different states have different probate laws, many people have false notions about the probate process. Many people assume that probate happens only when there is no valid will or legal heirs of the estate. Whether an estate will have to go through probate or not largely depends upon the law of the state and the estate planning steps taken by the deceased person.
This blog will shed some light on scenarios where an estate can’t avoid probate at any cost.
#1 In the absence of a will
If the deceased person has not created a will, his/her estate will go through a probate process. The intestate succession laws oversee the administration and distribution of without-a-will estates. Each state has its own intestate succession laws that dictate how such estates should be distributed amongst the heirs if there is no valid will to name an executor. In such a scenario, the involvement of the probate court is necessary. However, since the distribution of small estates through probate can be a complex process, some laws state that low-value estates without a valid will can go through a simplified probate process.
#2 When the existing will is faulty
When making a will, do-it-yourself approach can backfire badly. There are a lot of things one must keep in mind when drawing a will and estate plan. One minor mistake can deem an already existing will invalid and trigger a probate process. Mistakes like not getting the will notarized or failing to attach necessary affidavits to not updating the will after purchasing a property or making an investment can nullify the will. To avoid such scenarios, one should always look for the best probate lawyer near me and consult them. You should also make it a point to regularly review the will and make amendments as and when required.
#3 In the absence of beneficiaries
Administration of an estate after the passing away of the owner becomes tricky when there are no surviving children or spouse to take over the possessions. Even if such a person creates a will and appoints a close friend as an executor and makes unrelated people or charity legal heirs, the estate will have to go through probate.