You may have heard the word “probate” referred to without fully understanding what it is all about. Briefly described, probate is a legal process that your estate must pass through before the heirs to the estate receive their inheritances.
Because it is a legal process it takes place under the auspices of the probate court that is local to the deceased.
So, your last will is not just read among family members. It must be deemed valid by the court, and anybody who wanted to contest the will could do so before this court. Additionally, during the process interested parties such as creditors and claimants can step forward to seek satisfaction.
The executor or personal representative is charged with the responsibility of paying any final outstanding debts that may exist, communicating with interested parties, and inventorying the assets in preparation of distributing them to the heirs.
Liquidation of property that must be distributed among multiple individuals can be part of this process. This requires appraisals and sales, adding another layer of responsibility that must be handled by the executor.
The executor is probably not going to have any experience with the probate court. For this reason a probate attorney is generally brought on board, and that specialized experience can help to facilitate a smooth and timely path through the sometimes difficult process of probate.
Plus, having the last will originally drawn up by a good local probate lawyer can make all the difference because it will have been constructed with the expectations of the probate court in mind.
Crafting your legacy is a profound act that should not be taken lightly. To be certain that your final wishes are carried out to the letter, take action right now to set up an appointment with a seasoned, savvy Indianapolis probate attorney.
Mr. Kraft assists clients primarily in the areas of estate planning and administration, Medicaid planning, federal and state taxation, real estate and corporate law, bringing the added perspective of an accounting background to his work.
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