The People’s Advocate respects the time of grief after death. In this period, people are overwhelmed with a wave of different feelings, most of which are difficult to define and understand.
However, you need to have in mind that this is a period of time when you’re highly vulnerable. Considering your emotional state, your consciousness is narrowed and your judgment isn’t clear. In this kind of period, you need a professional who can defend your interests and protect your rights.
The sad truth is that not everyone considers grief to be sacred in a person’s life – some people will go as far as to try and misuse the situation. Because of these reasons, we offer you our services and knowledge about the probate process, because, as you might have noticed on our pages, we believe that:
“Knowledge is Power
Know your Rights”
What Is the Probate Process?
It is the process during which authorized parties use the rule of law in order to determine what happens with the estate of the deceased. There are two outcomes in this situation and they depend on whether the deceased left a will.
When there’s a will, the court will first need to determine if it is actually legally binding and valid. If the given will is perceived as a valid document, then the distribution of the deceased’s property will be distributed in accordance with the instructions. This process will be supervised by the probate court.
On the other hand, if an official will doesn’t exist, or if it’s estimated as an improper document, then the full property needs to go under assessment. For these purposes, the probate court will assign an administrator to lead the whole operation.
If an official will exists, the deceased probably named an executor as well. In legal terms, an executor and the administrator are both referred to as personal representatives.
What Is a Non-Probate Property?
In case a certain property is co-owned, and it belonged to the deceased and a second party, it’s considered to be a non-probate matter. Examples like the following belong to this category:
● the right of survivorship,
● trust property,
● property acquired during the marriage,
● co-ownership with a spouse, etc.
Therefore, if there’s a property the deceased acquired or owned by another party, the law instructs that it goes directly to them with no regards to the will. Likewise, if there’s a valid contract that testifies the ownership of the deceased’s property, it’s considered to be non-probate matter.
Duties of the Personal Representative
For the probate process to begin, a petition is in order. Everyone with the right of inheritance needs to be notified about the precise time and date of the hearing.
Next, the personal representative needs to notify every party who takes credit in the deceased’s stocks. The personal representative is responsible for paying estate taxes and debts, as well. And finally, they need to distribute the property in accordance with the law if the deceased is interstate or follow the instructions if the will is established as a valid document.
When Can You File a Lawsuit?
If you don’t feel satisfied with the distribution of the property, if you have reasonable doubt regarding your personal representative, and if there’s evidence that they didn’t act in accordance with the law or the instructions given in the will, you can file an appeal. The same process may be started if you believe that a piece of property isn’t taken into consideration, or if you believe that it’s purposefully hidden by a personal representative acting on the instructions of a party involved in the will.
Furthermore, if you’re not satisfied with the results of the appeal, you have the right to file a lawsuit. In situations where it’s proved that the personal representative has failed to fulfill their duties, you can ask for their dismissal in which case they will lose their authority in the case. The law also states the consequences if a negligible personal representative needs to suffer. The matter of inheritance will be further examined in the court.
Why People’s Advocate?
Because we believe in the law, and we believe in protecting your rights. Although inheritance law is clearly regulated, it often happens that an irregularity appears. Naturally, there still is a course of action that needs to take place, but you need to be aware of the fact that this process can be severely overwhelming, and an addition to your already distressed state.
That is why we offer our services; to help you with the probate process, and to make sure that the law is being respected. In case one of the parties included in the procedure fails to act in accordance with the law, you can put your trust in our office, and People’s Advocate will find the way to justice.