Probate settles and organizes the affairs of a deceased person. This legal process is a reality for a lot of families in Ridgeland and can work well for certain small estates. Keep reading to know more about probate estate administration in Ridgeland following the death of a loved one. And if you are making your estate plan, you should know how you can avoid probate.
What to Expect from the Probate Process?
If somebody dies, their survivors should arrange a funeral or get a death certificate. Then, they should determine what to do with the deceased’s possessions like mortgages, bank accounts, properties, and others. This is where the probate process comes in.
Often, surviving family members cannot just get their inheritance or ignore unresolved matters. The probate process is usually supervised by executors through the probate court. It may require beneficiaries and representatives to appear in court when a legal challenge or dispute must be resolved.
If a person dies without a will, their surviving spouse or adult child can usually act as a probate administrator. Estate administrators and executors can consult a probate lawyer for legal advice and assistance.
When is Probate Necessary?
Probate is not a required process whether or not a person dies with or without a will. Every will must be probated. The need for probate depends on the asses a decedent left behind and their value. Properties with a beneficiary designation can be transferred to the beneficiary directly. The same goes for properties owned through transfer-on-death deeds and assets held in a trust. In addition, probate may be carried out if a will is handwritten or has unclear terms, when there is a lack of guardians or conservators to minor heirs and beneficiaries, when there is a need for an heirship hearing, and when the estate of the decedent is quite big.
Avoiding probate allows beneficiaries to get the inheritance quickly. Probate is a time-consuming process. Preventing probate is possible by keeping an estate mostly non-probate upon the owner’s death. This includes payable-on-death accounts and jointly owned accounts. By planning ahead, probate can be avoided by transferring assets into an heir vivos trust during the estate owner’s lifetime. Trusts manage and distribute assets based on the terms of the trust. It is separate from probate. For small assets, affidavits let executors avoid court interactions, which settles an estate without formal probate.