What Does It Mean to Probate an Estate?

When a person is deceased, someone must take control of their assets.  If there has been proper planning, this person may be the trustee of their living trust or a spouse with very little to be done by the probate court other than to put the will on record.  In most other cases, the probate court must appoint an executor (with a will/testate) or administrator (without a will/intestate) and publically supervise the distribution of the deceased person’s assets.  The probate process can be difficult to navigate and has very specific deadlines that must be met.  It is not just the asset distribution that is at issue, certain tax elections or disclaimers must occur in very specific timeframes and manners or are lost. Klein and Associates has experience in steering through the probate process.

Potential Pitfalls in a Probate Proceeding

Every estate has its pitfalls, some of the most common we work with are:

  • No will
  • Claims that the will was made under duress, fraud, undue influence, or by an incompetent
  • The will is unclear and needs to be explained (by settlement or by the court)
  • Improper witnessing of a will or the will lacks a self-proving affidavit
  • Beneficiaries named in the will or intestate heirs are minors
  • Poor communication from the executor or administrator to the heirs
  • Lack of progress on an estate
  • Complicated asset divisions
  • Lack of liquid assets for distributions or to satisfy taxes
  • Dealing with charitable beneficiaries

These issues need experienced assistance, we can help.