Jonathan H. Parker with Parker and Maloney, PA, probate attorney in Miami, Florida, New Jersey and Hawaii explains how to protect your time in the probate process.
Probate court oversees the administration of a decedent’s estate. Not every estate has to go through the probate process; it’s only needed when there is no other way to transfer assets to the heirs or the people named by the decedent. Probate is required based on the nature of the decedent’s assets and estate plan.
This can get very complicated and time consuming. As the estate’s executor, it becomes your responsibility to complete and submit all forms to the court, as well as financial institutions, insurance companies, government agencies, and more. If you’ve not done this before, which is the case for most people, you can spend more time figuring out how to accomplish these tasks than actually getting them done.
It’s important to note that no assets can be transferred to the heirs until the estate has been administered by the judge/court. So, what often happens is that while you’re busy doing all the paperwork, everyone is calling you to find out when they will get their share.
Do all assets go through probate?
No. Assets owned jointly with rights of survivorship avoid the probate court process. When one of the owners’ dies, the surviving owner automatically inherits the decedent’s share. No steps are needed to make the transfer; it happens as a matter of law, and the decedent’s name is removed from the assets when you submit a death certificate.
Solely owned assets
Most importantly, assets owned only in the decedent’s name will most likely have to go through probate. Any current power of attorneys (POA) signed during the decedent’s life become null and void at time of death. Therefore, solely owned assets become “locked” at death and no one has legal authority to access them until the probate court grants permission.
Your time is important!
Dealing with a loved one’s estate can be a difficult time for the family. Jonathan H. Parker is a lawyer with extensive experience handling all these details. He’ll expertly and efficiently handle all probate issues at reasonable rates.
Call our office today for a free initial consultation and discover how working with Jonathan H. Parker will protect your time.