How A Probate Lawyer Will Administer An Estate
Probate lawyer firms are needed to oversee the process of probating an estate and seeing that the monies and property are distributed to the right people. Probating an estate is effectively the process of proving that the will is valid, and that everything is in proper legal order. This process is necessary in the vast majority of cases when a person dies. The exceptions are when a person dies intestate in simple circumstances, leaving the whole of their assets to a surviving spouse, and when the entire estate is held within a trust.
Even in cases where probate is necessary, not all of the estate necessarily needs to pass through this probate system. There may well be parts of the estate where monies can pass contractually from one legal entity to another, such as when there is an insurance policy or other bond which makes a payment on the death of the policy holder. As long as the person's death is registered and proven, the money is due anyway whatever the situation of any will passing through probate.
If a person dies without a will, the estate will still need to go through the probate system so that any assets can pass to the beneficiaries determined by the laws of the state in which the deceased person resided. Where there is no will, there is obviously no named executor. In this case, the probate court itself has the responsibility of naming someone to act as the administrator of the will. Most intestate cases are relatively simple, as they are often simply cases where the assets pass to the spouse.
Where a will has been made, there will be a named executor who has the responsibility of making sure that the will passes through probate and that the assets are distributed according to the wishes of the deceased person. Being named as the executor of a will can be a frightening experience for anyone without legal training or experience, so it is wise to tell the person who are going to name as executor so they are prepared. A good probate lawyer can help the executor deal wit matters they may not be familiar with.
There will be a certain percentage of cases, even where a will has been made, where the person named as executor cannot satisfy the requirement. It is quite possible for the named executor to be themselves deceased, often without the person making the will realizing that the death has occurred. In this case, an administrator needs to be named as in the case of a person dying intestate. The will, however, will remain perfectly valid and the assets will still be distributed according to the wishes of the deceased. A complicated will can always benefit from having an administrator who is a trained probate lawyer.
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