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Probate

Why is a probate necessary? A probate is necessary when assets need to be transferred to heirs after death such as a home or financial accounts that were only in the decedent’s name. Whether you have a simple estate or more complicated estate, we can guide you through the probate process to give you peace of mind going into the future. Please call us today for an appointment.

What type of probate is needed? The type of probate will depend on the value of the estate (assets owned on the date of death). If the total value of the assets are under $50,000.00 then the distribution may be completed in a short probate process or by an affidavit of transfer. If the total value exceeds $50,000.00 and there was a will, then an Informal administration process must be completed. This is a process that allows minimal supervision by the Probate Court and is completed by the Personal Representative and the assistance of an attorney in about one year. Should a large estate exist without a will then a Formal Probate Administration would be required in the Probate Court. This is more expensive and time consuming requiring attorney involvement throughout the process.

Can a probate be avoided? Yes, in some cases. If all solely owned assets total less than $50,000, an Affidavit of Transfer form may be used for the items that remain. Also, if the decedent listed beneficiaries, or noted transfer on death (TOD) designations on bank accounts and their real estate (new since 2006), it is possible for all assets to pass simply by completing a few forms. Preplanning is key. We assist individuals and married couples plan how they wish their assets to transfer upon death. Go to our Will & Trust page for more information.