What is Probate?

Probate is a legal process that takes place after someone dies.

It includes:

  • Proving in court that a decedent’s Last Will and Testament is authentic, valid and admitted to Probate.
  • Identification and inventory of the decedent’s property.
  • Having the property appraised.
  • Paying debts and taxes.

Distributing the remaining property per the decedent’s Will or per the Laws of Intestacy. Typically, probate involves paperwork and court appearances by lawyers. The costs of administration or Probate, including attorney’s fees and court fees, are paid from the decedent’s estate.

Does all property have to go through Probate when a person dies?

No. Most states allow certain property to pass free of probate or through a simplified procedure. In Connecticut, for example, property can be held in certain ways to avoid probate. There’s also a simplified transfer procedure for any property left to a surviving spouse. In addition, property that passes outside of your Will-say, through survivorship or a living trust-is not subject to probate.

Who is responsible for handling Probate?

An Executor named in the Will handles this after the Court appoints him or her. If the decedent has no Will, or the Will fails to name an Executor, then the Probate Court appoints an Administrator to settle the financial and legal affairs of a person who has died without a Will. Most often, the position of trust goes to the person who inherits the majority of the decedent’s assets.

How can I avoid Probate?

Deciding whether or not to spend your time and effort planning to avoid probate depends on a number of factors, most notably your age, your health, and your wealth. For more detailed information on simple but effective methods to avoid probate and save your family time and money, call Ganim Legal, P.C today for a complimentary no-risk consultation.