According to an estate planning attorney from our friends at Silverman Law Office, PLLC, estate planning is an under-discussed yet immensely valuable resource. You may have a will or have at least contemplated the importance of drafting one. But have you considered the additional, similarly important question of how the intentions embodied in your will are to be realized once it has been put into effect by your passing? You don’t simply provide your loved ones with instructions as to the will’s location or expect them to read and comply with it on their own. So how is this process completed?
The answer to the question is what is known as probate and estate administration. Whether you die with or without a will, probate is necessary to administer your estate. The purpose of this article is to explain the basics of probate and estate administration.
Probate Begins with Notification
The majority of estates contain not just assets, but also liabilities. As such, estate administration is focused on the distribution of assets and the resolution of debts. In order for these two issues to be addressed, all interested parties must be notified of your passing and the timeline of your estate’s administration. It is through this process of notification that probate commences.
Just as you take care to ensure that your will is drafted in accordance with all applicable formalities and is thereby valid, it is wise to do the same with regard to the oversight of all stages of the probate and administration processes.
In addition to duly notifying all parties interested in your estate by virtue of receiving a distribution or the repayment of a debt, an experienced estate planning attorney can also serve as the individual charged with collecting your assets, paying the debts of your estate, and distributing all remaining assets to either the beneficiaries named in your will or, if you die without a will, in accordance with the laws of intestate succession.
Experienced in Probate and Estate Planning and Administration
In addition to distributing assets and discharging liabilities, the individual appointed to administer your estate during probate will also be prepared in the event an interested party contests the validity of your will. In doing so, the administrator will fully investigate the claim of the contesting party, whether it be on grounds of capacity, duress, revocation by subsequent instrument, or otherwise. In drafting your will and overseeing the processes of probate and estate administration, rely on the expertise of a dedicated estate planning attorney.
Contact an Estate Planning Law Firm Today
Knowing your loved ones will be taken care of when you are no longer here provides great peace of mind. If you would like to learn more about the estate planning options and tools you may have, contact a seasoned estate planning attorney.