In the complex legal world of post-death dealings, nothing is more involved than the process of probate. That’s likely because only about 60% of American adults have their estate plan and written will already set in place before they die. Probate deals with what happens to the other 40%, whose wishes for their assets and belongings are not made explicit, and therefore must be decided upon by the court. Of course, it’s always a bit more complicated than that.
What is probate?
The term probate comes from the Latin for “to prove,” and in cases surrounding a deceased person, it’s all about proving the will. If a person dies without one, his or her assets are kept in a state of probate until the legal inheritance can be proved. Since this is a highly involved process, it simply can’t be endured without a probate attorney guiding the proceedings.
How long do the potential heirs have to wait?
Probate in the United States typically lasts for a year to 18 months. Because of this, the heirs often take that time to properly put the deceased’s home in good condition for selling or plan other aspects of the estate so all loose ends can be tied up. It’s important to try to avoid these kinds of complications as best you can, which means you should always try to write a will while you’re still living.
Why do I need to do to write a will?
Your best bet is to get in contact with a lawyer — not a residential real estate attorney, mind you, but an experienced estate planning attorney who can address all your questions and guide you through the process. Having your exact wishes laid out will be extremely helpful when you pass away so that your belongings aren’t held in probate while the details are ironed out.
It’s always good to keep in mind that the best, most sound legal advice you can receive is from a real attorney, not some article you find on the internet. Remember, the web is great for researching and finding information, but it can’t always help you interpret the law. That’s what a residential real estate attorney, a probate attorney or some other kind of legal professional is for. Find out more at this site. Learn more about this topic here.