Things You Should Know About Probate
Estate planning is a time-consuming but essential legal process that helps you protect your assets, secure your future, and look after your family. Making a strong estate plan helps you to ensure that your estate is secure, and you and your family’s future is protected. Probate is just one part of estate law, and it is one that many people do not enjoy dealing with. It is the process where all of your assets are distributed by the probate court after your death, and it is often complex and difficult to navigate.
How Probate Works
Probate is a court-supervised process in which the estate of a decedent is distributed to their beneficiaries. Their assets are retitled and given to named beneficiaries. The process can be slow and take over a year to complete, depending on if there are any issues or complications that arise. For example, if there are any outstanding debts that are not yet paid or if a will is contested, it can slow down the distribution process. An estate planning lawyer like one from McCarthy Law, LLC can guide you through every part of the probate process.
Bypassing the Probate Process
When a person dies without a will, their estate will need to go through probate court. If the person’s name is listed in a title, those assets must be subject to probate. There are certain circumstances and methods that will allow a person to skip the probate process completely. Any assets in an estate that are passed through state contract law do not need to go through probate. If a person decides to put in place trust, for example, the trust is not legally required to go through probate. There are other simple ways that people can skip probate, such as jointly owned property. Whether an estate goes through probate also depends on the size of the estate. Typically, smaller estates are not required to go through the probate process.
When to Hire a Lawyer
The probate process can be full of complications and legal obstacles. If you are unsure how to begin with the probate process, reach out to a qualified estate planning lawyer like one at McCarthy Law, LLC. Because probate can be highly complex, it is recommended that individuals who wish to secure their assets talk to a lawyer. Schedule a consultation now if you need legal assistance.