When someone passes away, this time can be incredibly complex time as you may feel overcome with grief. Unfortunately, you may be tasked with planning your loved one’s services and handling your estate. As such, you may be relieved to discover that the estate may not have to endure the probate process. The following blog explores when you may be able to avoid this process and how a probate lawyer in Pasco County, FL can help you during this complex emotional and legal time.
What Is Probate?
Probate is the process in which someone’s estate is validated by the court. If you are the executor of the estate, you must file with the court. Generally, the court will examine the person’s estate, inventory and appraise their assets, pay off debts to creditors and distribute the remaining assets according to the terms of the will.
Generally, probate is closely associated with when someone dies without a will or intestate. However, depending on the person’s assets, this process may still be necessary with a will.
Is This Necessary for All Estates?
In some instances, probate might not be necessary. However, if there are creditors, agitation against the deceased or when assets are solely in the deceased’s name, probate is necessary and can be helpful in these instances.
However, if all assets have been designated to beneficiaries, there are rights of joint survivorship or assets are in a revocable living trust, this process may be avoidable.
In some instances, if the estate is particularly small, you may be able to qualify for summary administration. Essentially, this is a simplified process in which those with an estate worth less than $75,000 can petition the courts to order the distribution of their loved one’s assets to their descendants.
What Should I Do if I Need Help With Probate?
Though many try to avoid the probate process, it may be in your best interest to allow this process to occur, especially if there are creditors filing against the estate or litigation against the deceased. Similarly, it may be the best way to transfer some assets from the estate of the deceased to the rightful beneficiaries.
Unfortunately, the probate process can be complex in some instances. That’s why it’s imperative to consult with an experienced attorney who can guide you through this process to ensure your loved one’s estate is handled according to their wishes and the beneficiaries receive the inheritance they are entitled to.
If charged with handling the estate of a loved one, it’s critical to reach out to the Law Offices of Matthew J. Jowanna. Our compassionate and knowledgeable team understands how challenging these circumstances can be. That’s why we’re committed to helping make this process as simple as possible for those going through probate. Call our firm today to discuss the details of your circumstances and learn how we can assist you.