Common Probate Questions
When a loved one passes, there are many things that need to be addressed by those left behind. One of these matters is the probate process, which often leaves many individuals and families confused by what can be a very time-consuming and difficult ordeal.
At Family Law Group, we hear from many people across the Colorado Springs region who have questions about what they need to do to successfully probate their loved one’s estate. We wanted to take a moment to address a few of those questions here, and invite you to reach out to us for more detailed information about your case.
What Is The Probate Process?
In short, probate is the way that the courts transfer the property of a loved one to beneficiaries. This may be according to a will, or if the individual died without a will, according to intestacy laws. This process allows the estate to pay off outstanding debts to those that have claims against it, and then distribute the remainder of the assets accordingly.
How Long Does It Take For An Estate To Be Probated?
One of the main problems that people have with probate is that it can be very time-consuming. Gathering all of the assets and dealing with debt can take time, and that can increase if there are additional challenges to the estate.
Simple estates may be able to get through the process in a relatively short manner, but more complex situations could take a year or longer to resolve. All this time, assets belonging to the estate can be tied up by the courts, making it extremely difficult for families who are depending upon the assets to make ends meet.
What Are Some Of The Issues An Estate May Encounter As It Goes Through Probate?
Common problems include challenges to the validity of the estate, identifying potential assets and beneficiaries who would receive these assets as well as beneficiaries unhappy with the potential distribution of the property.
When a dispute arises, it adds to the time it can take for the estate to be finalized. This can be frustrating, time-consuming and costly, especially if the challenge results in a will or other type of contest. It is a good idea to work with an attorney throughout the process in order to ensure things are done properly at all times.
Are There Ways To Keep Property From Having To Pass Through Probate?
Yes, but, you need to take advantage of these options at the time you create your estate plan. You can create a trust or use other asset-transferring measures to protect the property. Talk to our experienced estate planning lawyer to learn more about the specific options available in your situation.