How The Probate Process Works Without A Will?
Whether there’s a will or not, the assets of the deceased need to be distributed and divided among the people who are left. You can go forth with a probate process with the help of a probate attorney PG County, Would the process be a bit different from the probate process including a will? Keep reading to know.
Get A Lawyer
For any legal purpose, getting a lawyer will be beneficial for you. You can never know about all of the laws, especially those that come with probate without a will, so this is where a lawyer can help you out. You can go for a probate lawyer or a lawyer who has experience working with cases like these where the deceased is deemed to have passed intestate.
An intestate probate process involves the division of the assets of the deceased owner, in which there is no will involved. Now, there might be a lot of reasons why a will wasn’t made. It may be because the owner didn’t have enough time to make a will or they might have other plans. So, in these cases, it can be really hard to get your foot in the door, so a lawyer will help you to make a strong case to get the process started
Discuss The Assets
There can be a lot of things that the deceased owner might have left behind. It might be the house you’re now living in, any other properties, business or sources of income, assets like insurance policies, life insurance, jewelry, heirlooms, important bonds, documents, and the list goes on.
For the probate process to begin, you will need to have an idea as to how much property is left behind that’s in the name of the deceased owner.
The lawyer as well as the court will need this information and they will go forward from this point on. It’s crucial to know about the ins and outs of the assets being divided because a thorough evaluation will be done, once an administrator is assigned.
Have An Administrator
Once you meet up with the lawyer, the process will begin right away. Before you file for a probate process to commence officially, you will need someone for asset valuation. This is where an administrator will come in. He/she is a legal advisor who is going to do an in-depth valuation of the assets left by the owner and they will also figure out the estimate of the assets.
The administrator will work as an executor, as with the case in a probate process that has a will. The administrator, in your case, can be someone appointed by you or the deceased or if that’s not done beforehand, you can choose an administrator on the spot from a list of people your lawyer recommends.
The main job of an administrator is to figure out the estimate of the assets, as well as find out whether all of the taxes, dues, and debts are paid off or not.
Division According To State Laws
Now that the evaluation of the administrator is done, they will provide a detailed report to the lawyer and you about the estimated cost of the assets. They will also mention any taxes that need to be paid because until the dues are cleared, you can’t get the assets divided. The cost of the taxes, dues, and any money owed to someone will be deducted from the asset estimate and a specific number will be left behind and that’s the actual cost of the assets.
Once that is done, the assets will be distributed based on the state laws of intestate. Every state is going to have different laws, so you can get the best information from a wills and trust attorney Upper Marlboro. Regardless, this is the only way by which assets can be justly divided among the beneficiaries and heirs of the deceased.
The Family Of The Deceased
Even though state laws are different, the main gist of all of them will be that the assets will be divided among the immediate family members of the deceased. These members can include:
- The spouse of the deceased, if they are or aren’t divorced
- The children of the deceased
- Any other legal marital relationship the deceased had, and any children resulted from the relationship. The relationship must be legal and official, however. So, something like marriage or elopement will be considered in the court. In some states, however, elopement isn’t considered a legal relationship, so you should get the right and firsthand information from your lawyer.
- If the deceased is unmarried, then the immediate family members will be regarded as the beneficiaries. These can include the parents of the deceased, any siblings, or other familial members.
There are many cases in which the beneficiaries can change, based on the status of the deceased owner. A key point to remember in this case is that friends and business partners can’t be included in the list of possible beneficiaries because it’s not the same as a probate process with a will, in which there are instructions as to how the assets should be divided. In the eyes of the law and in the absence of a will, only immediate family members are eligible to get the assets.
What If There Are Debts?
A lot of the time, there are situations in which the assets of the deceased aren’t as cut as dry as you think. There are taxes, property fees, and other charges that need to be updated and paid.
There can also be debts that are owed to several people so if that’s the case with your probate process, then the administrator will make a report on this and all of the money owed will be paid off first because if it’s not paid before the process goes to court, then there might be objections and the process might stop to a halt until the dues are cleared.
There Is A Time Frame
Speaking of the probate process without a will, and your lawyer can give you a better insight on this, there is a certain time frame in which you need to apply for the assets to be divided.
So, even though it might be hard to move onto such frivolous matters when you’re mourning your loved one, you should get this process started right away because as time goes on, more and more problems will rear their heads and you don’t want to get stuck in this mix.
From Deceased To The Heirs/Beneficiaries
As soon as all of the formalities are completed, you can go ahead and file the process in court. It will only take a couple of days for the court to come up with a decision and then the assets will be divided among the beneficiaries or heirs. The hard and time-consuming part is getting everyone evaluated and checked because the process itself moves pretty fast and it’ll be over soon.
The probate process without a will works just as well as compared to the will-including probate process. A lawyer will help you to navigate through this process easily. Hire a probate lawyer Largo to ensure you follow all the legal requirements completely.