The probate process has a reputation as being lengthy and complicated. Probate ensures that a decedent’s will and other testamentary documents are genuine and helps executors of estates fulfill their duties under the law. However, submitting an estate to probate is not always your best option. In fact, many estate planning tools can limit the length of probate or avoid it altogether. This could help you transfer property and assets to heirs quickly, with minimal court interference.
A Cherry Hill probate lawyer could help create a plan that limits the stress of confirming a will. This includes explaining a probate court’s role after a person’s death and outlining the steps associated with the process. A dedicated estates and trusts attorney is ready to represent your interests while you are authenticating a will and evaluating the actions of executors.
What is Probate, and Why is it Necessary?
Probate is a term that describes the court-supervised distribution of a deceased person’s estate. Through probate, a court has the power to approve an executor, oversee the executor’s actions, and even rule concerning the legitimacy of a decedent’s will or other testamentary documents.
Probate begins when a party introduces a will and proof of the testator’s death to a court. A court will quickly work to approve an executor so that they can begin paying debts and distributing property. However, probate is not always necessary. If a person dies without a will and has less than $20,000 of property, a court may order a direct transfer of ownership to a spouse or domestic partner without opening a formal probate case. In addition, if a person dies without a will and their property’s value is $10,000 or less, one heir may directly receive the entirety of the estate as long as all other heirs provide their consent. A knowledgeable attorney in Cherry Hill could help family members decide which form of probate is right for them.
Helping Parties Open and Complete Probate
When probate becomes necessary, it is crucial to understand how to initiate proceedings and protect one’s legal rights during the process. A party submits a will and formal application to a court to start the probate process. A court will then issue notices to all potentially interested parties. Those parties have the right to ask a court to consider the validity of a will before moving forward.
An executor is solely responsible for the administration of a decedent’s estate. This includes paying debts, selling property, and distributing assets according to the terms of a will. This executor has a duty to both a court and an estate to perform these duties adequately.
A seasoned lawyer in Cherry Hill could explain an executor’ role during the probate process. A legal representative is also ready to guide interested parties or evaluate the actions of other executors in cases of improper activity.
Let a Cherry Hill Probate Attorney Guide You Today
The probate process can be complex and confusing. An estate that needs to go through confirmation could take months to resolve, delaying the use of a home or distribution of money. It is critical to understand how probate functions and how to protect your property rights.
A Cherry Hill probate lawyer could answer all your questions concerning this process. Contact a dedicated legal advocate today to solidify your probate strategy or receive advice concerning the role of an executor during this uncertain time.