What is probate? This is a common question in among many people. They have totally no idea of what the term probate means. Probate is simply the re-entitling property, and can also be said to be the legal process of transferring the property of a deceased person to the right beneficiaries. The transfer of property is mainly guided by a will. A will is document that is written by a person during his life time to act as a guideline in distributing his wealth once he dies.
This legal practice is presided over by a judge. The procedure can be simple when there is a will. You will just have to confirm that the will is original and that nothing was altered after death of the owner. When the will is confirmed as valid, then the estate lawyer can continue with reading it out as it is written.
The procedure for transfer of property can however be long and expensive when there is no valid will to guide on wealth distribution. Many court hearings will be necessary and this will cost a lot in terms of legal fees and time.
This practice can be long and take even over a year when no one the involved parties can not reach an agreement. For the process to be smooth and quick, all parties must agree on a way forward and accept to accommodate all suggestions without compromising the procedure. This is however not the case because each party wants the better share and care less about others.
The practice can also be slowed down when the deceased had outstanding debt to another party like a financial institution or individual person. That party will want to be repaid and this will call for an auction of the deceased assets. The assets are sold off to pay back the debt owed. This can turn to be a bitter period for those who would have otherwise inherited the property.
One should prepare to avoid this procedure, especially when one is aged or in bad shape in terms of health. This involves writing a will that will stipulate distribution of his wealth. In such a way, they ensure that their property goes to those they desire once they die. This will also prevent family chaos in battle for his wealth. This process on the other hand is not necessary when one is young or does not own much property.
The practice is important in transfer of wealth and allows the state to determine if the property was legally acquired. If not, the state can seize the estate. It also allows the state to determine if all statutory fees were paid during the deceased life time, for instance taxes due. The process is also important in paying outstanding bills and then the remainder can be given to the inheritors.
The procedure can however cause splitting of family relations when all people are not satisfied. It leads to ill feeling over the winners and can ruin relationships for ever. This is where the importance of uncontested will come in. Those who want the system to be considered should be willing to sacrifice a lot for its success.
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