"Probate" is the process by which a Court oversees the distribution of a deceased person's estate to the heirs and beneficiaries.
We recognize that, when a family member dies, it is a difficult and sensitive time. Grieving relatives often have no answer to the question, "What do we do now?" We can help navigate those choppy waters and provide help and answers in a confusing time:
Is it really necessary to involve the court?
Not necessarily. In some circumstances, probate can be avoided altogether. (This does not mean, however, that bills or taxes can be ignored!)
Who is responsible to handle the probate?
The Personal Representative (Executor) who is named in the will.
What does the Personal Representative have to do?
The P.R. will need to prepare an inventory of all the decedent's assets, notify creditors, pay legitimate bills, prepare a final tax return, prepare an accounting of all income and expenditures, and distribute the assets to the persons/organizations listed in the will.
What if there is no will?
We look to the intestacy laws of the State. The statutes set forth the priority for selection of the Personal Representative and also determine how the assets will be divided.
If a probate is necessary, is it possible to "shortcut" the proceeding in some cases?
We have experience in a wide range of large and small probate estates, including multi-country and multi-state probates, ancillary probates, contested wills, and complicated creditors' claims.
Every situation is unique, and we can guide you and your family through this difficult and confusing time in a clear and caring manner. Contact Wakefield & Dwelle now.