The probate system is the mechanism that American courts use to ensure that a person's estate is dealt with properly following their death. There's a lot more to this process than just reading a will. It's a good idea to look at a situation the way someone from a probate law services firm would, and here are three key issues to be aware of.
If the deceased had a will that was fully written out, an executor should be named. In some cases, a partial or rushed will may be produced without getting all the details down. When that's the case or there isn't a will at all, the court is empowered to appoint an executor of its choosing.
There may also be grounds for challenging the naming of an executor, but the court generally frowns on this sort of thing. You should discuss such questions with a probate lawyer services provider prior to mentioning them in court. If there are concerns, such as a conflict of interests, these may then be worth raising.
When a will is presented to the court, it will need to be proven valid. This is generally a straightforward process if the deceased had previously worked with an attorney to create a will. It may be more challenging to address this issue if a will was hastily assembled without legal support. Likewise, there might be questions about which version of a will is applicable, particularly if revisions had been made.
If you have concerns about a will, this is the time to raise them. A common complaint is an undue influence on the deceased, such as coercion of someone with Alzheimer's syndrome.
Identify and Appraising Property
All the deceased's property must be accounted for prior to initiating the process of distribution. Assets typically cannot be sold or distributed until everything has been inventoried. The property will then be appraised for its value. If there are any outstanding taxes, the court may order that a portion of the property be sold to settle those debts prior to any distributions being conducted.
When there is any balance or leftover property, the executor is responsible for distributing it fairly. Parties with standing, usually relatives or organizations named in the will, have the right to apply for assets that are leftover. If no one is interested in an item, the executor may dispose of it by whatever means they feel accords with the wishes of the deceased.
Speak with probate lawyer services to learn more.
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