Probate is an expensive, time-consuming court proceeding that is required when you die owning assets in your own name, with or without a Will. Each state has a different Probate threshold, depending on the value of the estate. In Georgia, personal estates larger than $2,500 must go through Probate. In California, the threshold is $150,000.
“A Will is a lawsuit that you file against yourself, using your own money, for the benefit of your creditors… or for the people who CLAIM that you owe them money”.
There are several ways to avoid Probate on individual assets, such as beneficiary designations and Joint Tenancy with Rights of Survivorship. Numerous unintended consequences can result from both approaches, however, the very reason why most people use Living Trusts in order to avoid Probate.
Most Courts will encourage you not to attempt probating an estate without the help of an experienced professional. Probate is a complicated and time-consuming process that most of us are simply not equipped to handle alone. Here’s a partial list of the steps that are required in order to successfully accomplish the Probate process:
Call LPI in Scottsdale for assistance with the Probate process. We’ll make it quick and easy for you!
The best time to take steps to avoid Probate is while we’re still living. Thus the adage, “Plan while you can”! But in circumstances where one dies without a plan in place, LPI can help lessen the impact of Probating a loved one’s estate. Probate is often required in order to obtain a Testamentary Letter from the Court that allows one access to a deceased loved one’s bank, brokerage and retirement accounts, as well as real estate that are ‘stuck’ in the deceased’s name.
Depending on the circumstances, a Testamentary Letter can often be obtained in as few as 5 to 10 days from the date of filing the necessary papers. LPI can help you prepare and file the long list of documents needed in order to begin the Probate process – better, faster and more cost-effectively than you might expect.
The probate process begins with filing court documents that request formal appointment of a Personal Representative for a deceased’s estate. The time required to obtain the Testamentary Letter or Letter of Administration usually depends on how quickly we can secure the agreement and signatures of all of the heirs to the estate. Disagreements over such appointments can cause the process to take longer, even resulting in a “Contested Probate”.
Avoiding such contests is just one reason why it is SO important to plan ahead for the inevitable. So don’t wait! Contact LPI for assistance regardless of where you find yourself in the process.
Contrary to popular belief, Probate may be required whether you have a Will or not. If you die without a Will (i.e. you die “intestate” – without a Last Will and Testament), your estate will be administered under the Rules of Intestacy. The outcome can require official letters of administration whereby a personal representative of an estate is appointed. This situation, also known as intestacy, is when a person passes away without leaving a legal document known as the last will, and testament. In this case, the family members may suffer from stress trying to manage the assets because estate planning was not performed properly from the beginning.
Receiving letters of testamentary is an essential step in the probate process, however, with many estate probate attorney services, you may have to wait a full week or more before receiving the letter. Count on Life Planning Inc. to deliver your testamentary letter in as little as 3-5 business days, given uncomplicated circumstances.