During tragic times of loss, people directly related to the recently deceased person have to deal with an entire storm of events that they’re almost always unprepared for, especially if they’ve never been in that situation before. It’s very difficult to control emotions during such a horrible time and it’s made even worse when the direct family is contacted to figure out how the process of dividing the assets is going to go. This article is going to make the probate process a little easier to understand while also explaining how it determines whether or not the property of the deceased is valid. Here’s how the probate process determines the validity of a deceased person’s property.
The first step that occurs when someone passes away is to check for a will or any document made by the recently deceased person stating the inheritors for his/her assets. If there’s no clear document made then the probate process begins to determine whether the assets are valid or not.
Identifying & Locating All of the Assets
Shortly after discovering that there is no will, the probate process continues with the next step of finding all of the assets that were left behind by the deceased person. Once that happens, the value of each asset is calculated in order to determine how much each property is worth at the time of passing. This step helps divide the assets evenly amongst the creditors.
Finding the Creditors
During the time that it takes for the state to determine who the creditors are, they also provide the necessary time for anyone to prove their right to claim the assets left behind. In states like Georgia, the spouse of an adult child of the deceased usually appointed as the administrator. Issues regarding the unexpected passing of a family member can complicate the probate process far more than a grieving person can handle, so having an estate planning lawyer in Lawence, Georgia can take away all the trouble of dealing with the entire process. It’s very important to have an attorney present with you during the probate process as people often make a lot of mistakes during grieving periods.
Paying All the Remaining Debts
Debts don’t go away after someone passes, they just move on to either the personal representative, the executor or the administrator. When that happens, the debt needs to be paid before any of the assets are distributed to the rightful inheritors. Issues regarding paying the debt are usually made much easier if there’s an attorney present to answer any questions that the people involved have regarding the process and that’s why it’s highly advocated to always have an attorney present during such a tough time.
While this isn’t something you have to deal with immediately, it’s something that has to be done eventually. You’ll have to get all the paperwork required in order to file any tax returns and to pay any taxes that are already due. This is another one of those steps that get resolved in a much simpler way, if you have an attorney present with you during the probate process. Filing someone else’s taxes may be the last thing on your mind when you’re still grieving, so let a professional handle it for you as you wouldn’t want to make any mistakes regarding those documents.
The Distribution of Property
The final step in this whole process is the distribution of the assets to the beneficiaries once the executor has compiled and submitted a list of every single transaction that occurred from the first step of the probate process to the last step of it. While it’s common to have all the beneficiaries agree on waiving this requirement because of its tedious nature, several states have worked on creating an all-encompassing form that makes things a lot easier to account for. Since the probate process determined which property is valid to which beneficiary, the assets are then renamed under the names of the beneficiary rather than the recently deceased, ending the probate process and dividing the assets permanently.
The worst part about having to learn all of this information is that a grieving person will have to learn about it and execute it all within such a short time-frame of the loss of a loved one. Informing others of how the process works and preparing them for the untimely occasion can help them handle the process a lot easier than if they’ve never heard about the process in their lives, so spread the word to those around you.