Wednesday, August 15, 2012

The Probate Process - Following Final Wishes

Death is inevitable to everyone in this world, and yet few people prepare for that eventuality in a legal manner. Regardless of the circumstances, the possessions and last wishes should always be documented with a will in order to avoid difficulty or problems for those left behind. Typically, if someone has a will, it will go to probate after the death. Many people wonder, "What is probate?" It is the first step in executing the last wishes that are included in the will. It means that it is the start of dispersing the items or finances to whom they will belong.

The probate process can sometimes be a long and drawn out process, simply because there is the inevitable red tape that goes along with any procedure of this nature. For example, in the midst of this process, usually begun by an attorney, creditors must be informed, a probate court may need to rule on the validity of the will, assets assessed and dispersed, among many other things. In addition, sometimes there is a dispute over the contents of a will, and an attorney can help straighten out a legal mess before it gets started.

There are many ways that you can look at the probate process. It can be what is happening while the will is being looked over by judges and an attorney, or it can be the process of distributing the worldly goods as mentioned in the will. The taxes must be taken care of first, as well as any debt, so the rules must be followed. Without a will, however, this makes the process much more difficult, and sometimes the state in which the deceased lived gets to decide the property and asset dispersal. If you do not yet have a will for yourself, you need to get one.

Unfortunately, even death is now a bureaucratic mess that can involve miles of red tape and can sometimes take years to straighten out. However, by preparing for the worst, you can protect your estate and see that it goes to the people you want, and is not distributed according to a random act by the state. While it is always advisable to have a personal representative named in the will, it is also important to have an attorney double check every bit of the documentation to ensure that it will be complied with and is compliant with state laws.

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