Dealing with the death of a loved one is a difficult part of life. Apart from their grief family members are left to deal with the business affairs of the deceased. Probate is a judicial process having to do with the validation of a will and the realization of its terms. Any obligations or taxes attached to the estate will be satisfied during probate. Properties left by the deceased will be named and appraised before they are passed on to the beneficiaries named in the will. The executor of the will is responsible for filing the paperwork with the courts.
Depending on the size of the estate and what all is involved as far as incurred debt is concerned, the probate procedures can go on for up to a year. The executor may ask the court to release “short-term support funds” from the estate to family members to cover expenses during that time.
There are certain circumstances that make an estate exempt from probate. If the property was jointly owned by a husband and wife for instance, it will be automatically passed on to the surviving spouse and there will be no need for probate. Most states have provisions which allow a certain monetary value to be handed down without the necessity of formal probate.
Because probate may be a long and drawn out process as well as a costly one, you may want to avoid it. A living trust is a document much like a will. Name yourself as the trustee, but also name a successor trustee who will assume the responsibility after your death. Any property held in trust is excluded from probate.
You can arrange for your financial accounts to be transferred as a matter of course to a beneficiary upon your death just by completing the necessary form. Some states also provide for similar arrangements to be made for the transfer of your vehicles.
Since some probate laws are governed by the state, you should confer with an estate lawyer before you make any assumptions. Contact Parker Lawyers @ 303-841-9525 in Parker Colorado for information specific to the state.