LA Probate Law: What is Probate Litigation?
Probate is defined as the legal process of how the debts are paid and assets and property distributed of an individual who has passed away. “Probate” is the legal name given to this process say LA Probate Law. The Will must be verified as the valid, final dispositive statement of the decedent. Often times, the process involves a will and sometimes there is not one available. When a deceased individual’s Last Will and Testament is offered for probate, there are many requirements and all heirs and creditors have rights, privileges, and limitations that must be strictly followed. After a person dies, ownership (the legal title) of his or her property, assets and personal effects must be passed on (legally transferred) to the beneficiaries (heirs) listed in the Will. The Will generally names the person or institution appointed to administer (manage) the probate estate process. When there is no valid Will, State law governs who receives the assets of the deceased. The term “probate” is also used in the larger sense of “probating the estate”. If there is no Will, the persons receiving assets are designated by State law.
Probate litigation involves the laws, codes, and statues that preside over wills, trusts, and the settling of a deceased individual’s estate. It often includes disputes among relatives and challenging certain sections, provisions, or the entire Last Will and Testament. The Last Will and Testament can be disputed due to several reasons. Arguments often raised include: the decedent may have been improperly influenced in making gifts, the decedent did not know what they were doing (insufficient mental capacity) at the time the will was executed and the decedent did not follow the necessary legal formalities in drafting his or her will. The majority of probated estates, however, are uncontested explains LA Probate Law. The facts of individual disputes define the type of action that needs to be defended or prosecuted. The law of limitation is firmly relevant to probate litigation and even if there is a valid claim, a case will not be preceded by the probate court if the time limit has passed. The probate process may be contested or uncontested. Most contested issues generally arise in the probate process because a disgruntled heir is seeking a larger share of the decedent’s property than that he or she actually received. Basic Process of Probate Estate is collecting all probate property of the decedent; paying all debts, claims and taxes owed by the estate; collecting all rights to income, dividends, etc. settling any disputes; and distributing or transferring the remaining property to the heirs.
Nowadays the probate process is a court-supervised process that is designed to sort out the transfer of a person’s property at death. The probate process and distribution to the heirs can be as short as 6 months and as long as two to four years depending upon the State laws regarding creditors’ claims, whether there is property to be sold, whether there are tax liabilities, whether there are disputes among heirs, and congestion in the State courts expresses LA Probate Law. The executor of the will or the administrator is given the authority to handle matters of the deceased by the court. The personal representative conducts a complete check of the property in the estate and collects all necessary documents. There are some assets that are non-probate, for example assets held jointly, the ownership automatically passes to the remaining person in case of death of one on of the owners. The inventory check is important to identify all assets and make sure the assets are adequate to cover the debts owed. The payment of creditors is done according to merit and this varies in each area. The will, if available, determines how the property will be divided. If there is no will, the probate laws determine what each beneficiary gets. The document showing that he/she has the authority is used to access any assets held by the deceased. The activities of the personal representative are usually governed by strict rules to avoid misuse of power granted to them.
The actual court probate process is only a part of the responsibilities of the will’s executor. The first duty is to file a petition to start probate in each of the states where the deceased owned property. The probate system, however, exists for the protection of all the parties involved and the focus of this article is what occurs in probate. Because each state has slightly varying probate laws, the answer to the ‘what is probate?’ question will change a little depending on a specific state’s legal code. Property subject to the probate process is that owned by a person at death, which does not pass to others by designation or ownership (i.e. life insurance policies and “payable on death” bank accounts). LA Probate Law says a common expression you may have heard is “probating a will.” There are three primary ways to avoid probate and its protections: joint ownership with the right of survivorship, gifts, and revocable trusts. This describes the process by which a person shows the court that the decedent (the person who died) followed all legal formalities in drafting his or her will. What is often taught about the probate process is how to avoid it. The movement to avoid probate is primarily motivated by the desire to avoid probate fees.
LA Probate Law: What is Probate Litigation?
Latest posts by Scott Schomer, Estate Planning Attorney (see all)
- What Are the Most Important Things I Need to Know About Estate Planning? - March 23, 2019
- What is an Asset Protection Trust? - March 22, 2019
- I’m Young and Healthy. Why do I Need Medi-Cal Planning? - March 21, 2019