There is no way in which we can stop our loved ones from dying because we can’t beat mortality. However, what we can do is make sure all their wishes are fulfilled. Sometimes people leave wills behind, and we need to respect them and act on them. Usually, when someone dies, their assets are distributed among loved ones through a process called probate. Probate is the process by which a deceased person’s assets and debts are transferred to the designated administrator of their estate and distribution to those they have designated. The process includes judicial proceedings where both parties must litigate any disputes that arise in order to make final determinations; this can include decisions about whether creditors are entitled to an inheritance or who should receive what share of the property.
Dorothy Lawrence, the CEO of Dorothy Butler Law Firm, says that ensuring a smooth probate process is important not only from a legal and financial perspective but also something we should do out of respect for the deceased ones. Fighting over deceased people’s assets is a kind of dishonor to their souls, she says. Dorothy and her team regularly handle probate-related issues for clients all across the United States.
The Basic Probate Process
In order to understand probate, you need to understand how it works. Dorothy explains the probate process through the following four simple steps.
1. First, an individual will must be found who has title or ownership interests in any property that may need to be distributed to beneficiaries.
2. Then, any assets owned by the deceased individual must be identified and collected into a single place.
3. Thirdly, any debts owed by the deceased individual must be paid off.
4. Lastly, the property, assets, and money that is left must be distributed to the beneficiaries of the will.
Types of Probate
Probate with A Will
When a person dies and he or she has left a will behind, the executor, generally a family member, is asked to initiate the probate process. Sometimes the will itself describes who should be the executor. In cases where the deceased person has left a will, his or her executor is responsible for filing the will with a probate court within a specified time, depending on the state. The authenticity of the will is proven valid in a court-supervised proceeding.
Probate Without a Will
In cases where the deceased person has not left any will, the decedent’s assets are distributed according to state laws. In such cases, an administrator is appointed who oversees the deceased person’s estate. The administrator can also pay off the outstanding debts of the deceased person and locating the legal his or her legal heirs. In cases when a person dies with no assets, the probate process is ignored.
Why Is Writing a Will Important?
Dorothy Lawrence recommends writing a will on time. She regards it as essential for anyone who wants to ensure their loved ones are taken care of after their death. It is also a valuable tool for ensuring your estate doesn’t fall victim to unscrupulous individuals. Writing a will can be complicated, which is why Dorothy recommends you should seek help from professionals in order to make sure you include everything that needs to be included in the will.
Skipping Probate: Is It Possible?
The probate process is not always a legal requirement. There are certain situations in which an estate may be exempt from the probate process. Dorothy says that in Texas if there is no will and the estate’s total value—excluding any homestead real estate owned by the decedent—is $75,000 or less; probate may be avoided.
How Can the Dorothy Butler Law Firm Help You?
Dorothy Lawrence has extensive experience in settling and administering estates. The Dorothy Butler Law Firm provides professional legal representation for everyone involved in the probate process. They offer inexpensive and efficient services with the help of a trustworthy and experienced team of lawyers. In the event that someone you love dies, The Dorothy Butler Law Firm can help you with the probate process every step of the way.