Estate planning and probate go hand-in-hand and work together to distribute the assets, property, and funds left behind by an estate owner to the heirs and beneficiaries of the estate. It is impossible to avoid the probate process completely, even if the estate is accounted for with proper estate planning and completely distributed in a valid Last Will and Testament. However, it is possible to limit or reduce the time an estate spends in probate court and thereby reducing the fees and taxes associated with the process of probate. Estate planning and family probate are subject to the local inheritance laws of the jurisdiction where the assets are held or where the estate owner’s primary residence is located.
The probate process is the legal procedures in place by local laws to settle an estate after the death of the estate owner. Estate planning and probate court work together to ensure the process is fair and absolute. These are the primary tools for settling claims against the estate and distributing the assets to the heirs and beneficiaries of the estate. Probate court is used to confirm and validate a last will and testament of the late estate owner.
Estate planning and probate help to protect and execute the directives and request of the estate owner as per his/her instruction. If the sate owner died testate, with a proper will in place, the executer named in the will sees to it that the grantor’s requests are honored. If the estate owner died intestate, without a valid will, the probate court will appoint an administrator to oversee the distribution of assets, pay outstanding taxes, and settle claims against the estate according to local intestacy laws.
Steps involved in probate include:
Proper estate planning and probate court will work to guarantee that the last wishes of the state owner are respected and observed. It is possible for some assets to bypass the probate process completely. Assets that pass to named beneficiaries contractually do not have to go before probate court. These can include life insurance benefits, bank accounts, co-owned assets, property held in right of survivorship, or property or assets held in a living trust.