Probate is a legal process designed to deal with the assets of a person after he or she dies. The process is important to guarantee that the assets are properly distributed to the person’s heirs or other designated individuals, and for ensuring that any financial obligations are satisfied.
After a person dies, the legal process will begin with the filing of a petition in probate court. The relatives of the deceased and others with legal interests will be notified, and those who have any objections to the way the assets are being divided will be given the chance to voice their concerns. The manner of the distribution should be made clear in the person’s last will and testament.
The executor of the will, who will be chosen by the probate court, is responsible for assessing and administering the estate, which represents all of the property and personal possessions of the deceased. The assets may consist of a home, which is considered real property, and personal property items that are not attached to the ground, including bank accounts and stocks. Additionally, the executor will be responsible for settling taxes or any debts that may have been left hanging over the estate. In some cases, an independent appraiser may be brought in to determine the nature of the wealth and its amount.
Those involved can expect a waiting period until the various elements of the estate can actually be distributed. Other problems can arise if the person dies intestate, or without a will or with one that is not legally valid. Under such circumstances, the distribution of the estate will be determined by the court, which will also appoint an administrator to oversee the process.
More information about probate is available at estate.findlaw.com/probate.html. The legal process related to probate can be complicated, which is why anyone involved in it should consider seeking assistance from the Jackson Law Firm.
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