The Paperwork Boogeyman
Probate is a concept that most Americans don’t think about in their day to day lives. Encounters with probate is typically through a personal experience with the process or through a description with a wealth adviser. It is also common for that first impression with probate to be a negative one. Often, the advisers will talk about probate as tedious, over bearing, expensive, long, and needless. After listening to such tales it’s easy to think of probate as the boogeyman of paperwork. Something to be avoided at all costs. But what exactly is it?
A Simple Explanation
Probate is a complex solution to the intersection between a few simple facts:
Fact 1: Not everyone is kind enough to die penniless.
Fact 2: People who have died do not have rights. The deceased do not sell or buy things.
Fact 3: Our society tends to frown on having a good old fashion Viking funeral. Namely, a celebration of a person’s life by burning everything the deceased person owns.
Fact 4: Our society wants to honor the final wishes of the person who died. We honor these wishes by transferring the dead person’s property to the people the deceased wished to receive it.
Fact 5: Creditors of the dead person want to get paid. Society has an interest in ensuring such debts are paid.
This leads to a problem, namely, how do we honor the dead person’s wishes while making sure all the final bills are paid? The solution is the probate process. Probate is a court procedure where an individual is appointed to managed and distribute the assets in question. The paperwork problem comes from the need to prove to the Court that creditors and heirs are receiving what each deserves while also showing an accounting of the assets.
Guidance and Answers Through The Legal Process
It is common to find this process confusing. There are deadlines, motions, notices and seemingly countless steps for a personal representative to take in order to properly administer the estate. The team at Shanley Law LLC will help make sense of this process and assist you in easing a personal representative through the probate process.