Advantages of Probate Administration

If you are an heir or beneficiary to an estate, you may have imagined that receiving an inheritance is much like it’s depicted on film. The decedent’s heirs gather in the attorney’s office as he reads the will to a captive audience.

In the movies, after the “reading of the will,” the heirs receive a check from the estate and are sent on their merry way. Unfortunately, this scenario is more of a Hollywood story than real life. In reality, most, but not all, estates go through probate before the heirs receive their inheritance.

Reasons for Probate

What is probate, and why is this process important? Probate is the process of validating a will and ensuring that it is faithfully executed. Although some assets pass outside of probate, for example, assets with beneficiary designations, many assets in a will are controlled by the probate court with jurisdiction.

If you wish to avoid probate altogether, you do have options. For instance, you can create a living trust.

Advantages of probate, include:

  • The creditors are paid.
  • The decedent’s taxes are paid.
  • The executor cannot engage in self-dealing.
  • The executor is overseen by the probate court.
  • The executor must provide the court and heirs with an accounting.
  • The executor cannot engage in a conflict of interest.
  • Gives the creator of the will peace of mind that the court will oversee the distribution of their estate.

When an individual creates an estate plan, they must decide who will manage their estate. Generally, the creator of the will appoints a spouse, a son or daughter, a sibling, or a close friend to be the executor of their estate when they die.

If the creator of the will does not wish to have a family member settle their estate, they can hire a lawyer to handle it for them instead.

On the other hand, whenever an executor (non-attorney) is appointed by the probate court, they are strongly encouraged to seek representation from an experienced probate attorney.

Categories: Probate, Trusts, Wills