Probate Law Common Questions and Misconceptions
The area of Probate Law can leave many family members with questions. At Integrity Law, we are here to walk you through each step and guide you along the process. Here are answers to common Probate questions and misconceptions to help you through the process.
Is it true that if I die the government gets everything?
No. In fact, certain assets are protected and are considered exempt properties from certain creditors. Certain creditors must file a statement of claim against the estate (with the exception of Medicare, not Medicaid.) Creditors that no not file a claim within a specific period of time are barred.
What’s the benefit of having an attorney if my loved one did not leave a will?
The probate process is not always cut and dry. The attorney will not only be able to streamline the process but, he or she is also able to determine which creditors have priority over others (if any exists).
Will probate costs deplete my loved one’s estate’s assets?
Fees in probate matters are strictly governed by law. Attorneys are paid a certain amount depending on the size of the estate. A family may pre-pay an attorney or the attorney can be paid out of the estate.
Does probate really take years?
Not at all. It depends on the type of probate (Summary vs. Formal). Summary can sometimes be accomplished in a couple of months. A Formal generally takes 9 months to a year.
What happens to assets that are not probated?
There is not rush or timeline in which a probate has to be opened. It really depends on how quick a family member either needs property transferred or needs the case assets.
Can I avoid probate if my loved one has a will?
This depends. A will serves as a “catch-all” for assets that have not already been pre-distributed. Sometimes there is no need for a probate even if the party has a will. Our goal is to avoid probate if possible but, making sure that if one is necessary the terms of the will dictate distribution.
Will the oldest child always be the executor of the will?
A party may designate anyone (except someone with a felony record) as an administrator/executor. The party designated may receive compensation for management of the estate.
If you have specific questions about your current situation, we’d love to answer them for you. Our goal is to guide our clients through the legal process while preserving as much of the assets for those left behind. We are here to help you through the court system to settle your loved one’s affairs. To schedule a free consultation with one of our attorneys, click here.