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How can the process of probate impact assets?

On Behalf of | Jul 31, 2020 | Estate Planning |

Dealing with someone’s estate and property after they die may seem like a daunting task.

However, the process of probate is an important step in dealing with these debts and assets, along with fulfilling the person’s final wishes.

Definition

According to FindLaw, the executor is responsible for the handling of the will. This person could be a trusted family member or friend, but is likely someone the deceased is close to. Probate occurs after a death, when the executor formalizes his or her wishes and tries to repay any debts left over. In addition, multiple executors are not uncommon, due to the complicated nature of this process.

Contested or uncontested

In some cases, heirs or other family members may come forward and claim that they did not receive the appropriate amount of an estate. Arguments against the deceased’s original terms may include the fact that the decedent was not mentally capable while drafting the will, or even that they were unduly influenced by someone else and therefore unfairly treated.

Beyond this issue, many probate processes tend to follow a similar pattern. You will decide how to pay any leftover fees or debts from the deceased, and you may collect any dividends or other rights to income.

Exemptions

As someone eager to avoid fees and legally divide assets, probate may seem like a lengthy process. However, not all parts of a will may need to go through probate. Life insurance policies do not require the same process as other items, such as land or other valuables. Legal fees may also come out of the estate assets, if needed.