Important Information about Estate Probate Process
Whilst a person is still living, they have a legal right to own property in their name. In addition, while they are alive, they are free to distribute or dispose their property as they wish. Upon death, a person loses their right to own any property. Nonetheless, the law provides that such property can be passed to the deceased beneficiary. There is a laid down court procedure that oversees the allocation of a deceased property. When the court process commences, this is referred to as estate probate while the property in question are called probate assets. All assets of a deceased person are probate assets whether the deceased died testate or intestate. A Will guides the court on how to distribute the estate of the deceased but does not exempt the assets from probate.
With an exception of a few of the deceased assets all assets must go through a court process before they are distributed. An asset that is legally distributed in an out of court process it is known as a none probate asset. This pieces of property are contractual properties entered into while the deceased was still alive and are guided by the law of contract. A good example is property that is in a Trust Fund, life insurance benefits, retirement benefits and IRA benefits. Another category of none probate assets is joint property that have a clause of right of survivorship. When one of the parties passes on, the property is automatically passed to the surviving party. The estate probate process is in place to protect the interest of some beneficiaries who may be disinherited or creditors to the deceased. A person’s estate must first settle all his or her debts before being distributed to the deceased beneficiaries. The surviving beneficiaries can legally challenge a Will if they believe they have been disinherited.
Due to the complexity of applying for probate, it is advisable for the beneficiaries to hire a reputable probate practitioner. This expert is also equipped to locate any missing property or missing beneficiaries. In the event that the Will in question is disputed, the parties involved should brace themselves for delays in completing the probate application process. Phase one of probate application is completing relevant paperwork. The applicant should then put in order the documents that need to be attached on the form. This include, the original Will, two copies of the said Will and the death certificate. The probate registry further expects the applicant to appear in person to swear an oath. The probate office usually require the applicant to take an oath to the fact that they have presented authentic documents. Like any other oath, the probate oath is administered by the commissioner of oaths. Thereafter the applicant will be issued a grant.