Daniel J. Wright
Benefits of Probate
It is very common that people are unaware with the probate process until someone they love passes away and they somehow become involved in the administration of an estate or the probate of a will. Probate is a process that is supervised by the court to identify and collect assets of a deceased person and distribute them to beneficiaries and creditors, as a probate lawyer Cherry Hill, NJtrusts can attest. When a loved one dies and a beneficiary is notified they are to receive an asset of some type, they can become very frustrated when they learn that receiving their inheritance may take many months or in some cases over a year. This news can often be discouraging, however, if someone understands the probate process, the delay might be easier to understand.
Creating a Will
A will is a legally binding document that provides you with control over what happens to your estate when you die. This is the last gift you can provide to your family and loved ones. Having a will makes managing your assets clear and it makes the process easier on everyone. If you do not have a will created when you die, you do not have any opinion on what happens to your belongings.
When someone dies, their will needs to be turned in to the Clerk of the Circuit Court that has jurisdiction over their estate within ten days of the deceased’s death. Once the court receives the will, the court will work to decide if the will is valid. Once the will is declared valid, the probate process will begin. The first costs taken out of the estate are to pay for the probate hearing, following by any debts of the deceased, and the remaining funds will be paid out to the deceased’s beneficiaries.
Probate is needed when a court order is necessary to transfer any property from the deceased’s ownership to the beneficiaries. Probate is not always needed when all of the assets are owned and one of the joint owners is still living. Basically, probate is only applicable to any assets that the deceased own by themselves at the time of their death or assets that the deceased co-owned but did not create a provision for who is to receive ownership automatically at the time of their death.
One of the best benefits of going through probate is that the will’s executor will have to answer to the court and their actions will be monitored closely. Any beneficiaries can rest easy knowing their loved one’s executor will need to follow specific protocol and are not able to just do whatever they would like with the assets. Additional benefits of probate include:
- Probate is supervised by the court
- The executor has to follow any court orders
- The executor has to give notice to the beneficiaries of any hearings or proceedings
- The executor has to provide accountings periodically
- Probate ensures the deceased’s debts are paid
- Probate ensures that specific protocols are followed exactly
- A court judge oversees all probate hearings
Thanks to our friends and contributors from Klenk Law for their insight into probate law.