The process of probate settles the estates of those who died without a will. Its purpose ensures that any of the deceased’s creditors are dealt with accordingly. Probate also ensures that the estate is distributed among the right people.
In cases where the deceased left behind a will, a probate can open up to assess its validity.
Since Palm Springs is home to a lot of wealthy families, it’s only natural there is a considerable demand for the services of a Coachella Valley probate attorney. Often, a Coachella Valley probate attorney is best equipped to determine whether a probate is necessary. Not everyone who dies without a will leaves behind an estate of significant value.
Even if an estate is both sizable and ungoverned by a final will, probate would not require the property to pass through regulated processes like insurance policies or beneficiary deeds.
Top Questions to Ask Before Opening Probate
Still, for those who consider opening a probate, check out the following common questions on the subject:
1) Who can challenge a will or trust?
The deceased’s heirs are the most eligible for challenging a last will or trust. If one of them ended up somehow disinherited in the latest version of the will, they may challenge the will. This is if older wills included them in the division of the deceased’s estate.
Other entities named in previous wills, but not related to the deceased, such as a charitable organization, are also entitled to challenge a will. This is dependent on whether the latest version cut them out or reduced their share of the estate.
2) On what grounds can a will or trust be challenged?
There are a few general motives for challenging a will.
These include: a.) Fraud, b.) Undue influence (the deceased was tricked or intimidated into making or changing their will), c.) Lack of capacity where the deceased was not of sound mind while making or changing their will.
Yet, it can be quite difficult to prove any of the above. Getting the services of our experienced Coachella Valley probate attorneys is advised should you decide to open up a probate for contesting a will or trust.
3) Where should a probate be opened?
The general rule is to open probate in the same place or state where the deceased was living at the time of their death. If the deceased had more than one established domicile at the time of death, the plaintiff can examine the probate laws in any of those states. They can then opt to open a probate where the laws are more favorable to him/her.
Contact Our Coachella Valley Probate Attorneys for a Consultation
If you are considering opening probate, are facing a challenge from a contested will, or have questions, then contact us at 760-322-2275 to schedule a consultation.