One of the questions we are often asked is what is Probate and is it a requirement?
Probate and Estate Administration is the legal process of proving a Will. This means that is accepted as the last Will and Testament by the Probate court.
Probate is the judicial process whereby a Will is “proved” in a court of law and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased, or whereby the estate is settled according to the laws of intestacy in the state of residence (or real property) of the deceased at time of death in the absence of a legal Will.
The granting of probate is the first step in the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property under a Will. A probate court decides the legal validity of a testator‘s (deceased person’s) Will and grants its approval, also known as “granting probate”, to the executor.
The probated Will then become a legal instrument that may be enforced by the executor in the law courts if necessary. A probate also officially appoints the executor (or personal representative), generally named in the Will, as having legal power to dispose of the testator’s assets in the manner specified in the testator’s Will.
However, through the probate a Will may be contested.
Because of the costs of court involvement in the probate process and the potential for involvement of lawyers who collect fees from the estate of the deceased, many people try to minimise costs associated with the probate process.
There are tremendous legal and tax complexities in the probate process, so it is advisable to have a Will and speak with a professional member of the Probate team to ensure that your loved ones are not left with the complicated and often messy task of distributing the assets of your estate upon your passing.
Here at Family Matters, we can assist you with applying for probate, collecting assets and managing them, to selling any property if necessary.
Start saving money today with a prepaid probate plan.
Family Matters can assist your loved ones with the registration of the death and help arrange the funeral. We will also ensure that all the assets are secure and protected during the estate administration process.
Save yourself the hassle and the cost of the probate fees, start spreading the cost, to avoid any nasty financial surprises for your family in the future.