At Heritage Law Office, we understand that the death of a loved one is a difficult time. We also know that dealing with the legalities surrounding that death can be overwhelming. That's why we're here to help. Our probate services are designed to take the burden off of your shoulders and help you through this difficult time.
What Is Probate?
Probate is the legal process of settling the estate of a deceased person. This includes transferring the deceased person's assets to their beneficiaries, paying off any debts and taxes, and resolving any disputes that may arise. This process can be complicated, and it often requires the assistance of an attorney.
When Is Probate Necessary?
Probate is generally necessary in order to transfer ownership of assets, such as real estate, vehicles, or other items of value.
In other cases, probate may be required in order to settle the deceased person's debts.
Additionally, probate is generally necessary even if the deceased person left a will because wills must be “proved” valid in court before they can be carried out.
There are, however, some scenarios where probate is not necessary. For example, in some states, small estates may not require probate. Additionally, certain types of property, such as life insurance benefits, retirement accounts, and jointly owned property, usually pass to the surviving owners without going through probate. Finally, if you have your assets properly funded in a trust, the assets can bypass the probate process entirely.
However, if your assets are above the threshold for small estates and if you did not specifically pre-plan to avoid probate, your assets will likely need to go through probate to be distributed to your beneficiaries.
If you are named as the executor of a loved one's estate, it is important to seek legal guidance in order to ensure that you are fulfilling your duties in accordance with the law. At Heritage Law Office, we can help you understand your responsibilities and make sure that everything is taken care of properly.
What Are the Steps Involved in Probate?
The probate process varies from state to state, but there are some general steps that are typically involved. These steps include:
- Filing a petition with the court.
- Notifying heirs and creditors
- Asset inventory and appraisal
- Paying debts and taxes
- Distributing assets to heirs
- Closing the estate
Here at Heritage Law Office, we will guide you through every step in the process. We will work to make the process as pain-free and smooth as possible.
How Long Does Probate Take?
The answer to this question depends on a number of factors, including whether there is a will and whether there are any disputes among family members or creditors. Many states have mandatory waiting periods to allow creditors to come forward with claims. Generally speaking, however, probate can take anywhere from six months to two years. More complex probates can take even longer.
Contact an Experienced Probate Attorney Today
Do you need help probating a loved one's estate? Probate can be a difficult process, but our team of experienced probate attorneys can help make it as smooth and stress-free as possible. We'll take care of everything for you so you can focus on moving forward.
You don't have to go through this difficult time alone. We're here to support you every step of the way. Let us handle the probate process while you focus on your family and your future.
Contact us today to by calling 414-253-8500 or send us a message to schedule a free consultation.