There are techniques to avoid probate. Generally, the techniques must be implemented before death. One of the best ways to avoid probate is by setting up a Revocable Living Trust and then re-titling assets in the name of the Trust. Another common way to avoid probate is to use a payable on death designation. However, if someone wants to leave his or her estate to multiple people or to minor children, that method of estate planning is not practical. Sometimes, despite best efforts, probate is unavoidable because an asset could not be titled in the name of the Trust. Perhaps the estate has some business to wind up, like a wrongful death lawsuit.
Who Are The Main Players In The Probate Process?
The Personal Representative is the person who is authorized by the Court to make decisions concerning the estate and to buy and sell assets and manage those assets until they are distributed to heirs. In almost every case of Formal Administration, the Personal Representative is required to have an attorney. The probate judge and the judge’s assistants and clerks are the ones who approve all the documents that are generated for the Court.
An accountant may be involved if there are income tax returns or estate tax returns that must be prepared.
Heirs, or beneficiaries, are the people ultimately entitled to receive the decedent’s assets, typically the decedent’s spouse or other family members. Those people might have their own attorneys, especially if the matter is contested.
The decedent’s creditors are entitled to make claims against the estate, and in some cases, those claims must be paid before money is distributed to the beneficiaries.
For more information on Property Going through Probate, a free initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling 727-827-7777 today.