Though many estate owners try to set forth a detailed and thoughtful plan for what will happen to their assets after their passing, hiccups in the asset distribution process are sometimes inevitable. Whether it was an untimely death that prevented the decedent from distributing funds appropriately, or a specific property’s ownership is in question, probate court may have to intervene to ensure that each piece of property is allocated legally and correctly.
Probate can take months, or even years to fully manifest tangible results. The process can be so incredibly grueling, both physically and mentally, that it can often feel like there is no end to paperwork, court appearances, and interrogations from the court. Since an average individual who has to come in contact with probate is not well-versed enough in the area of probate law, many have to cut their losses when it comes to the distribution of their inherited property, and pay higher taxes than they need to, or give up an asset altogether.
To streamline probate, as well as maximize the benefit of the properties designated to you, hiring probate law attorneys is imperative. Call North City Law at 206-413-7288 today and let us help you make probate as stress-free and productive as possible!
When Does Probate Intervene
There are many reasons for probate court to intervene in the estate distribution process. For example, if the decedent left no will, or their will is for some reason contested, probate will have to come in to ensure that their estate is distributed in accordance with local legislature. It might be as basic as an unclear signature or as complicated as a family dispute, in which one or more family members are dissatisfied with the portion of the inheritance they received.
At times, probate gets involved because a trust left by the decedent for their child or spouse is intensely regulated, and one of the conditions of using that trust is regular monitoring by the state’s probate court. Specifically, with minors and heirs with disabilities, third parties typically have to be involved to distribute funds for them slowly overtime, and those parties may be required to report to probate as frequently as the trust dictates to ensure that the funds are indeed allocated appropriately. Yet in some other situations, fraud on the part of the executor of the estate has to be investigated by probate. Though it is often useful to have an unbiased third-party executor during such a difficult time for the family and loved ones of the decedent, fraud in these instances is not uncommon.
Are All Assets Subject to Probate?
Some assets rarely require probate intervention. Typically, those are assets that had been directly assigned beneficiaries prior to the testator’s passing. For example, if two spouses co-owned their home and there was a clause accounting for what happens in the event of one of the owners’ passing, the house would normally go to the surviving spouse, bypassing probate. Another type of wealth that is not commonly subject to probate is retirement accounts, the beneficiaries of which had been determined in advance.
Why You Should Hire a Skilled Attorney to Present Your Case in Probate
Probate can take a very long time, causing a great deal of anguish to many families. In fact, many of those who have had to deal with probate intervention, claimed that that the process inhibited them from truly letting go, extending their anguish and grief. Importantly, court intervention may also be prohibitively expensive without proper legal counsel on your side. With probate, it is absolutely imperative to have a knowledgeable attorney advocating for you in and outside of the courtroom. Let our highly qualified legal team help you! Call 206-413-7288 today for a FREE initial consultation.