Probate law is a legal process that no one ever wants to deal with. When someone who has a valid will passes away an administrative process goes into effect which determines how the individual’s property and belongings (termed their estate) will be handled. The process of this is great to know as both the person who is writing the will and the people who will be involved in the process should the unthinkable happen so that everything is understood and further pain is avoided. Estate planning is a lot better than no estate planning at all where motives have historically been influenced by relationships between friends and family and the value of the estate.
What is probate?
The term probate can be used in a variety of related ways. However the most common context is known as the process that occurs within the legal system administering your estate after someone has deceased. Each person listed on the will, must apply for a grant of Probate.
What if I have no will?
The Probate Law will only take effect when a valid will has been written by the deceased person. If the deceased does not have a recognized will, then the probate is invalid and an administrator needs to be made official (generally the next of kin). This process can be complicated and takes a lot longer than if a will was written.
What is included in an estate?
The probate lawfully considers an estate to be all assets that are owned fully or partially by the deceased. This includes future pay checks from work before passing, household goods, property and anything else that ownership can be determined by various forms of legal documents. All of the above can be probated by a local Probate Council except for real estate. Probate law for real estate is under the jurisdiction that the property is located. If someone wants to contest the ownership of any part of the estate, they must go through the appropriate legal channels.
Getting the process started?
If someone has deceased, their will is not official until it has been submitted for probate. Therefore when estate planning, you will need to tell someone where they can locate your will if required. Although there are some parts of the probate court procedures that are informal, there are severe penalties if the will is not produced within a certain time, is concealed or destroyed.
Estate planning is not enjoyable to think about. However, by doing so you do make things clearer for those who are mentioned in your will. The probate law may seem like a nuisance given the circumstances that the law is applied however is required though to keep everyone in check. It also simplifies the process as there have been situations where assets of the deceased are fought over for years resulting in ongoing pain for all parties involved. Ultimately, who do you want to go through your underwear draw?