When a person passes away, there are particular personal, financial, and legal issues that must be addressed. Probate is the process of ensuring that all estate matters of the deceased are addressed appropriately and within legal guidelines. It's no secret that the procedures involved in probate can be complicated and time-consuming. Not to mention, it can bring about contention between the decedent's heirs. Avoiding probate is always favorable; here's what you should know if probate is unavoidable.
How Does the Probate Process Work Without a Will?
Probate settles a deceased person's affairs and also substantiates the validity of a person's will. Probate also organizes how issues with the deceased estate are to be resolved. If a person already has a will, the probate court will examine the legitimacy of the deceased person's last will and testament.
What Happens If The Deceased Has No Will?
If someone dies without a will, the probate court will appoint an estate administrator. The job of an estate administrator is to resolve the legal and financial issues on the estate. They are also responsible for determining who the decedent's legal heirs are.
While avoiding probate can make the process of handling a deceased person's estate easier, there are some cases in which probate may be necessary. The probate process can be challenging to understand if you are unfamiliar with estate law. Enlisting the assistance of an estate attorney can help make the process go smoother.
How to Avoid Probate
No matter what size the estate, avoiding probate is favorable. Here are some ways that probate can be avoided:
Create a living trust where your future assets are placed in a trust that is overseen by a trustee. The trustee will be expected to carry out the directives of your trust in the event of your passing.
Designate your financial accounts as "payable on death." Most financial institutions give account holders the option of "payable on death or "transfer of death" to the beneficiary of your choosing.
Establish joint tenancy by identifying someone (such as your spouse) as the co-owner of particular property such as your vehicle or home.
How a Carrollton Probate Attorney Can Help
When it comes to settling an estate after a loved one has passed, you'll want an experienced probate attorney on your side to help you through the process.
Our team of experienced attorneys will answer all your questions about probate to make the process less daunting. Contact Auten & Willingham, P.C. today at (214) 643-8757 to learn more about how we can help.