Probate proceedings are generally described as a series of official proceedings that occur after a person dies and before there is any distribution of assets to beneficiaries. Probate involves the formal transfer of assets from the decedent’s estate to those designated as representatives of his or her estates, said the best probate lawyer in Georgia. Such representatives are referred to as probate representatives.
One of the primary purposes of probate proceedings is to determine the reasonable value of a decedent’s estate and distribute it to its intended recipients. Some of the commonly shared goals of probate and estate planning are: determining the value of a decedent’s estate that would allow for an anticipated gain if that person had been alive at the time of death; ensuring that debts of the decedent are paid in accordance with the provisions of a trust; and providing for the debts of the decedent’s dependents. As stated above, probate can also be used to address the debts of a dependent spouse or children. However, probate does not include complex financial issues such as estate taxes or the settlement of student loans.
Probate can be divided into two main types of formal probate and informal probate. In most cases, probate of will and testament is a more formal process than probate of real property. This is due to the probate laws that are incorporated into the Probate Code. It is important to understand, though, that even if probate of a will or testament is a complex matter, there are many probate professionals who can provide assistance to individuals through the entire legal process.
In most cases, formal probate proceedings take place in the county where the deceased resided, or where the decedent resided at the time of death. If the decedent lived in more than one county, it may be necessary to conduct probate of all counties in which he or she lived. Many counties now have special Probate courts that address simple probate proceedings, including informal probate proceedings and the process of estate probate.
Estate probate is a complex legal process that involves distributing the decedent’s assets to the heirs. Estate probate involves several steps including obtaining a court order for certain assets, securing those assets, and then fulfilling the duties required by those assets’ owners, such as paying creditors and making payments to government agencies such as Medicare and Social Security. The legal process of probate can take months or even years to complete, depending on the complexity of the assets involved, the number of beneficiaries, and the complexity of the estate plan established by the decedent.
The probate process itself usually begins with the probate officer obtaining a probate court order for assets to be distributed, generally through the probate court of the county where the decedent resided. The probate proceedings themselves can be lengthy, particularly if large assets are involved. Any probate proceedings that occur outside the formal estate planning process should be handled by an estate lawyer. An estate lawyer will be able to guide the executor proceeding, provide advice regarding how to transfer funds into the trust account once the probate proceedings are complete, and assist in other matters related to the assets.