What is Probate?

When a person dies, the court reviews the person’s will and estate through a process known as Probate. This is done to ensure the Will is authentic and meets state law requirements.  If there is no Will, the Court relies on state law to determine how a deceased person’s assets are distributed.  The Court also makes sure that any debts are settled and any taxes are paid.

Once the Will is validated (or the lack of a Will is established) and the Personal Representative/Administrator/Executor has met the Court’s requirement of paying all claims, any remaining assets are then paid to beneficiaries named in the Will or the beneficiaries who inherit under state law.

Unfortunately, this distribution typically happens months or even years after the deceased person has passed away.  The probate process must be complete before the beneficiaries receive any assets from the estate, and going through the many steps of probate takes time.

If there was no valid will, the court has rules that determine who gets any remaining assets, called the Laws of Intestacy.  Generally, your spouse will be entitled to a portion of your estate, but your children, parents or siblings will also receive a portion.  If no children or spouse survives the deceased, the estate is then distributed to other family members.  If there are no surviving family members, then the State where the property is located receives the assets.

You may have heard the term “testate.”  Testate refers to a person who has died with a valid Will.  When a person dies without a valid Will, the deceased has passed away “intestate.”
Whether or not there is a valid Will, the Estate of the deceased person will go through the probate process.

Is Probate Necessary?

In some cases, probate may not be necessary.  A brief, free consultation with David Bindrup Law Firm can help you determine whether probate is necessary.  David Bindrup Law Firm can then help with the preparation of the documents that are necessary for estate administration.

If you have been designated as a personal representative, there are many fiduciary duties to take care of regarding the estate administration.  By relying on the experience and education of David Bindrup Law Firm, you can be sure that that as the Personal Representative or Executor you are complying with all of those duties.

Allow us the privilege of helping you administer your loved one’s estate and easing your burden during this difficult time.  Contact David Bindrup Law Firm to schedule a free probate consultation.