Having to go through the probate process is something that can be costly and complicated. There are some ways that you can help your loved ones to avoid having to go through the probate process. Using these methods can save them time and money.
After a loved one dies, you are probably going to be an emotional mess. Your heightened emotional state might make you more likely to react to everything around you. If you find out that your loved one's will wasn't set up how you thought it was, your emotions might take hold of you. This is understandable, but make sure that you use this to fuel a legal response to the issue.
After your loved one passes away, you will likely dread the day when you have to start going through his or her belongings. This is often a very difficult time for family members. If your loved one had a will, this process might be a bit easier because it would include information about who get what; however, this isn't always a smooth process.
Anytime you have to deal with the legal system or courts, it can be stressing. While there's typically nothing to fear from the probate process, there might be a lot at stake.
One of the biggest challenges for those who are dealing with estate planning can be ensuring that they consider all of their assets when making a will or other plans. While most people who get this far with estate planning have the major assets such as homes, real estate and active cash accounts covered, it's easy to forget about inactive assets or smaller items. One thing you might never think about, for example, is a time share.
Probate processes can be time consuming and expensive, especially when a dispute arises about a will. Probate is also a matter of public record, which isn't something everyone wants -- you might want to keep some information about your assets and your heirs out of the record, and you can do that. While you can't always avoid probate completely -- your estate itself will likely undergo the process -- you can keep certain assets out of probate.
What happens when someone dies without a will or other estate plan in place? Because many people don't take the time to deal with estate planning, this happens more often than you might think, so the courts can't spend time hearing arguments or evidence on what the person might have wanted. Instead, each state has a set of laws called intestacy laws to govern estate processes in the absence of a will or estate plan.
The state Supreme Court is siding with a woman on the basis of the law, despite what it calls "repugnant" action on her part. The case had reached the Supreme Court after numerous appeals after a trial court ordered the woman to pay the estate's legal fees.
A legal battle is brewing between the family of a long-time church minister and the church he founded. The church, which the bishop built over the years into a global congregation, claims that many assets of the estate are owned by the church and the sale of such assets should benefit the church. The family claims otherwise.
All your estate planning work might come to naught if your will is invalidated during the probate process. Working with a professional experienced in all aspects of the estate planning and probate litigation process helps ensure your wishes are honored and your heirs are protected in the manner you wanted them to be. A first step in that process is ensuring your will is legally valid.