Probate & Trust Administration
Do I need to probate an estate?
Depending on the property left by a deceased person, you may or may not need to probate his/her estate. Generally, if the deceased owned real estate, certificated securities or had accounts without beneficiary designations, a probate will be necessary. There are various exceptions to the rule, such as when there is a community property agreement between spouses. Each case is unique and needs to be addressed on an individual basis.
If you’ve been asked for “letters testamentary,” a probate is likely necessary.
My loved one has a trust. Does this mean that probate is not necessary?
Even in cases where the deceased had a trust, a probate may be necessary. This is especially true in cases where all of the decedent’s property was not properly titled in the name of the trust. Also, even if a probate is not necessary, it may be necessary to formally administer the trust. A failure to do so can open the successor trustee up to liability.
Probate in a nutshell.
The purpose of probate is to handle the estate of a person after his or her death. Unless people fight, or there are other complicating factors such as insolvency, most probates are very straightforward. In a probate (1) a decedent’s assets are marshalled and inventoried (2) debts are determined and just debts are paid, and (3) remaining property is passed to the beneficiaries.
Your Trusted Legal Team
When someone close to you has passed, the legal team at Walker Heye Meehan & Eisinger will help guide you through the process. We’ll let you know whether a probate or trust administration is necessary and advise you throughout the process. Early on, we can help you be aware of what to expect in terms of time, effort and cost. We can also help you plan ahead and create a will, trust, or estate plan for yourself.