The probate process can be a daunting experience for those dealing with the loss of a loved one. Probate becomes necessary when someone dies with solely owned assets, and the heirs require the legal authority to access and distribute them. A Probate Court oversees this process and involves several steps that could take months or even years to complete.
What is Probate?
Probate is a legal process that distributes the assets left by someone who died to their heirs or beneficiaries. All purchases that pass through a will or intestacy not considered joint ownership or transferable on death in some states, will go through probate.
The Steps Involved in Probate
Probate consists of several steps that depend upon the assets left behind and the complexity of the estate, and these may include the following:
- Filing a petition with the probate court.
- Giving notice to heirs and potential creditors.
- Inventorying the estate assets.
- Paying debts and taxes owed by the estate.
- Distribute the remaining assets to the heirs/beneficiaries.
- Closing the probate administration.
- Why is probate so costly?
The probate process can get quite expensive because all costs related to the process – attorney, court fees, accounting fees, appraisal fees – are paid from the assets left behind, ultimately, less money for the heirs. Additionally, probate can be quite time-consuming, mainly if disputes over assets exist among heirs. All the prices that come with it are additional burdens.
How to Avoid Probate
Most people aim to avoid probate for two reasons: the financial cost and the time-consuming process. You can prevent probate or significantly reduce the number of assets that go through probate by using estate planning tools such as trusts, joint ownership, or transfer on death deeds.
Metro West Boston Probate Attorney
If you're in Holliston, MA, and need help with estate planning or navigating the probate process, don't hesitate to contact Marsden Law P.C.. Our experienced team can provide you with the legal advice and assistance you need to ensure that your assets are distributed according to your wishes. Contact us today at (800) 828-7854 to learn more about our services.