Time for the Big Divide - "Probate"

"Does my parents Will have to go through Probate?" (Nothing in this Post should be considered legal advise. Consult with an Estate Planning Professional.) It really depends on several factors. LegalZoom does a great job of explaining all of this. Probating a Will is usually done with the help of an attorney, but some may try to do it on their own. It is the process of the courts reviewing your parent's Will and recognizing the person(s) who will administer it and receive any benefits from it. The local Register of Wills are the ones who will issue letters of authority that give the executor authority to address legal matters of an estate such as transferring of assets, liquidating property (like your parents home) etc. Its a process that takes time so you have to be patient.


After dealing with the loss of your parent, you'd think that you'd have a moment to catch your breath. One of the downfalls of all of this process is that this whole process tends to occur in the days after one's passing, therefore, it is important to keep yourself organized and work with an estate planning professional.The responsibilities don't end when your parent or loved one passes away. You are now either in the role as the Executor of their Estate or a Beneficiary of it. Either way, there is work to be done. (Nothing in this post is considered legal advise. Please contact an Estate Planning Professional.) Its important that both parties, the executor and beneficiaries understand this process to help keep the family peace. This is a complex process that requires on time mandatory reporting. The local Court of Register of Wills, your state and perhaps even the IRS depending on the value of the Estate are all involved in this process. If you are a beneficiary of an Estate, the wrong thing to do is start playing with numbers in your head - "my cut of the estate is suppose to be $X." There are so many ways to set up an Estate or ways to transfer assets from designated beneficiaries, to TOD "Transfer on Death", to having a Trust, so it is not possible to set expectations on how the Estate will be divided.


What is Probate

Here are some tips to keep the family peace during this process:

  • Be helpful and be part of the team. Work together to sort through all of the inventory and assets.

  • Be patient. This process is going to take time especially if it is a complex Estate with many assets or if the deceased was not organized or did not have a Will.

  • Keep emotions at bay. Our relationships with the loved one made them do certain things with their money. Now is not the time to hash out past their "gifts". Being a beneficiary in it self is a gift also. No one is entitled to anything. It was their money to do with as they pleased.

To help you better appreciate the Probate process, check out this article.

https://www.thebalance.com/step-by-step-guide-how-to-probate-an-estate-3505261


#Probate

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