What is it? Probate is the court process where assets and debts of a deceased are determined and property is re-titled and assets are distributed to heirs. Death is an unfortunate reality of life, and our hearts go out to anyone dealing with the passing of a loved one. Know that we are here to help, and one way is by providing you with a checklist of things to think about when you lose a loved one.
Generally, a court will require that a nominated Executor in a Will or an Administrator (if no Will is involved) hire an Attorney. The probate process will either be Supervised by the court or Independently administered. Supervised administration involves the judge overseeing everything that is done by an Executor/Administrator and is generally requested in contested proceedings. Independent administration allows the Executor/Administrator to proceed with little court intervention. In your Will, you can elect to have Independent administration and supervision will only be required if an “interested person” (includes family and creditors) asks the court to supervise.
Why do I need to go through Probate? If your loved one held assets just in his or her name, even if you show a financial institution or mortgage lender that they had a Will, they will not release the assets without a court order appointing someone as Executor. Further, in order to transfer real property into another individual's name it will generally require a court order.
There are many alternatives and the facts of each situation are different, that is why at Ezzi Law we tailor the approach and advice to best fit your situation.