Frequently Asked Questions About Probate

Frequently Asked Questions About Probate
Mick Grant
Mick Grant

Founder and Writer

When a person dies, it is very common that their estate goes through the court. This is where the deceased estate gets transferred to the rightful heirs. An individual uses a Probate procedure to validate a will. The executor is responsible to divide the assets and transfer it to the mentioned beneficiaries. The court appoints an administrator if the decedent has not mentioned an executor in the will. Since the probate is lengthy and time-consuming, many questions arise. The items listed below are the common frequently asked questions in probate. It will help you get a good understanding of the process.

How To Begin Probate If A Will Is Present

The presence of a will could state the appointment of an executor. The will could display multiple executors. The appointed executors need to come to an anonymous decision and choose only one among them to make decisions. The initial step is to register the death and start the funeral arrangements. The executor can decide if they would like to continue with the probate process or hire a probate attorney to help with the process. 

What Process Do I Follow If There Is No Will Or Cannot Find The Will?

If you cannot find the will, ask a family member about the will. You can contact solicitors locally to check if the deceased had taken the help of their services. In the absence of a will, the court will nominate an administrator to continue with the process.

Does The Executor Appointed In The Will Have To Continue With The Probate Process?

Once appointed as executor, you don’t have to go ahead with the process. You can give up your rights as executor to the other executors named in the will. This option allows the other executors to make decisions, and you can later join in the probate process. If you are the only executor, you can give attorney power to a lawyer. Lawyers use their knowledge and experience to simplify the process.

Is The Executor Legally Responsible If Mistakes Occur In The Probate Process?

An executor should act under the probate law and keep the estate’s interests and beneficiaries in mind. This includes paying off any pending dues and taxes before dividing the estate. The executor has to make sure he advertises the death through the proper channels so that any creditors can apply for a claim. For any claims made after the division of assets, the executor is held responsible.

Is It Necessary To Engage An Attorney In The Probate Process?

If the contents of the estate are of a lower value then the probate process is not required. If the estate comprises many high-value components, it is best to consult with an attorney to help in the process. 

How Do I Handle Taxes In Probate?

When a person dies, the deceased estate needs to pay tax for their last tax year. You will need to pay taxes for the decedent as well as the estate separately as two different entities. An executor will have to calculate the decedent’s income and the estate’s value and file tax returns accordingly.

Does The Executor Have To Pay Creditors From Their Pocket If The Estate Is Bankrupt?

The answer is no, as the executor has to pay the creditors from the estate proceedings only. However, the executor may be liable to pay from their pocket if the estate lost its value due to mishandling. The executor may also have to pay any debts form loans cosigned with the decedent. The executor in a probate process should ensure that the estate gets the best valuation, which would help pay off all debts.

Should I Follow Everything Written In The Will Of The Deceased

Yes, if there is a will present, follow it as per law. There can be a case where individuals use the estate for their gain. In such cases, the beneficiaries should act swiftly as they could lose out on their inheritance.

Does It Cost To Undergo Probate?

The executor’s compensation or the attorney who is in charge of the estate division is per the law. The decedent mentions the compensation for the executor in the will. They can also request payment directly from the beneficiaries of the will. Whereas, the attorney usually has a fixed rate for the court proceedings.

Conclusion

As we have seen, the probate process can be a complicated task to handle all on your own. You might not be aware of all the regulations and rules about probate. In such times it is best to hire an attorney, who can guide you when complications arise. The attorney’s expertise will make sure that there will be no interference during the case. With the help of the lawyer, the probate process will end quickly without any problems. 

Probate
Estate Planning

Probate

Whenever one of our family members dies, it is one of the most challenging time of our life. During this time, we go through a

Read More »

You might also enjoy

FAQ