The term probate estate is in regards to any assets that are left behind when an individual dies. All fifty states require probate unless protection has been ensured with a trust. Probate validates wills, pays any debts and divides the assets among the existing beneficiaries.
The probate process takes an average of six to nine months’ time. In the case of a will, probate is a lot faster. A will contains an administrator for the estate. They obtain real estate and valuable item appraisals. They also negotiate until all debts have been paid.
What to Expect at Probate Court
Probate court is where a judge interprets a will and there is an executor appointed. The judges in the probate courts look at the validity of any claims beneficiaries made on the estate.
5 Probate Requirements
There are five reasons probate court may be necessary.
- The first applies if a will is not legal, the deceased was not competent mentally when the will was written or the deceased was unduly influenced at the time the will was made.
- The second reason for probate is if no will existed and there are assets to be given to beneficiaries.
- The third reason is if the deceased was not the only owner of any of the assets. In this case, an attorney must be contacted.
- The fourth reason applies if any of the assets were owned by either tenancy or joint tenancy.
- The fifth and final reason for probate is if there are no beneficiaries who have been designated, or if the beneficiaries designated are already deceased.
Anyone who believes they classify as a beneficiary for someone recently deceased and believes probate may be necessary should have a consultation with a law firm. Our Palm Springs probate attorney can assist you with any questions or legal help required.