It can be a dark and confusing time when a loved one dies. Experienced local solicitors know this, and the right one will handle the ensuing affairs with sensitivity and skill.
Even thinking about wills and probate while grieving can feel downright impossible, but getting it done as soon as you are able to, will be one last burden on your journey of moving on. If this all sounds foreign to you, it might be helpful to understand a bit of the process to get you ready.
What is Probate?
Probate may sound like an expensive and complicated process, but it really is not. If the deceased individual has a will, probate is simply proving and registering that will to the Court.
It’s a common legal procedure in which the assets of the will are passed down formally to their beneficiaries or heirs. Your local solicitor will help you decide if a probate is necessary, but all of this depends on what and how the property was owned, and what state laws govern it.
Do You Really Need It?
If the deceased has a very large estate, the probate process can understandably be a lengthy and complex exercise. For most people, however, it’s a simple formality. Just think of probate as a judge making it legally possible for beneficiaries to receive the assets, regardless if there’s a will or not. Depending on your situation, a probate is a great way to avoid any trouble with the assets in the future.
Will or No Will?
In most people’s minds, a probate is automatically linked to a will. Suppose that your loved one died and left behind a will; a probate is necessary to implement that will. But if they pass on without a will, but there are still assets that need to be divided and distributed under the law of inheritance, then a probate process can also happen. There are some events that can complicate this, such as the passing of the original beneficiary, so it’s best to seek the help of a local solicitor to sort things out.
How about Inheritance Disputes?
We’ve all seen those scenes on TV or movies: those tense, drawn-out moments where the surviving family fights about who gets what. But the truth is that inheritance disputes are not just for the extremely wealthy, or even for blended families.
Inheritance disputes can still happen when there are very little to no assets to disseminate. Survivors can still fight over who gets ownership of sentimental property, children of the diseased, or even who gets the deceased’s pets.
Your local solicitor will be of great help to settle these matters with as little fuss, complications, and time as possible.