Probate can be a complex topic to understand. Whether you’re drafting an estate plan or taking care of a loved one’s wishes after they’ve passed, it’s important to learn about this subject and what it means for the distribution of an individual’s assets. The lawyers at Vernau Law LLC have helped many clients in Granville, OH, successfully navigate the probate process with as little hassle and cost as possible. Below, they address some of the most common inquiries.
What Is Probate?
Probate is a legal court proceeding that occurs after a person has died. Before any assets can be distributed to the deceased’s beneficiaries, the court must prove the validity of their last will and testament. During probate, the deceased’s property will also be identified, inventoried, and appraised, and debts and taxes will be paid from the estate.
Does All Property Need to Go Through Probate?
There are exceptions to what has to go through probate. Any property held in joint tenancy with someone who is still living will bypass the courts and automatically fall under the other person’s ownership. In addition, assets left in a living trust will not be subject to probate, nor will life insurance payouts, 401(k)s, or IRAs.
Who Handles the Probate Process?
If an estate has a will, the appointed executor will oversee the probate process. However, despite being named in the will, the executor must still be approved by the court. When the deceased has failed to leave a will behind, anyone may petition to become the administrator.
How Does Probate Work?
After a person passes away, the executor will be responsible for filing papers in the probate court. This starts the process, during which the executor will be in charge of managing the assets, providing the documentation to prove the will’s validity, and locating the designated beneficiaries. It can take anywhere from a few months to a few years to complete.
The more educated you are on probate, the better prepared you will be. With this being a rather complicated area of the law to wade through, it’s essential to work with an estate planning attorney who has the knowledge and experience to assist you. To schedule a consultation, contact Vernau Law LLC at (740) 587-2637, or visit them online for additional information.