Probate: What It Is, Why People Fear It

When it comes to administering a decedent’s estate there’s a legal process called probate that oversees the settlement and distribution of the assets.

This process, which guides the legal acceptance of a will (if there is one) and appointment of an executor, essentially wraps up a person’s legal and financial affairs after their death.

Supervised by a probate court, this is a formal practice that most people don’t want to talk about, let alone experience.

In fact, probate is something many try to avoid altogether. After all, it is considered stressful and objectionable.

Here’s why:

Probate Can Be Time Consuming

One of the biggest concerns is the amount of time probate takes. And this is a legitimate concern. The bottom line is that probate cases are generally a slow procedure.

Regardless, you’re looking at a process that typically runs into months, depending on the size of your estate, as well as other factors such as the type of assets owned, form of ownership, tax issues, creditors’ claims, marital property issues, and whether a business is involved.

“Owning a sole proprietorship is a lot more complicated than owning stock in a business and if there are disputed matters that pertain to a sole proprietorship, you have to get permission from the judge to make decisions. That can be onerous.

Probate: Lengthy and Complex

The process, which often involves extensive paperwork and tedious tasks, can become even more cumbersome if family members disagree. For example, inheritors can file petitions over the handling of the estate or assets, or contest the will, or fight the validity of the will because they’re not named in it (when notified).

Issues can and do crop up, particularly when someone isn’t happy with what they’re receiving or what they’re not receiving.

One of the biggest drivers of conflict is the modern family. It’s usually children of the first marriage versus a surviving spouse – a stepmother or stepfather. Without mom or dad as an intermediary, the gloves come off. It’s often more about the relationship than the money.

Litigation can kick around for months and everything is on hold until it gets resolved.

Privacy Concerns During Probate

Probate is a public process. Extensive documentation and paperwork eventually become a part of public records. This means that anyone can access and read court files and be privy to a deceased’s estate and the value, as well as the names and addresses of the beneficiaries.

This can result in unwanted attention from nosy neighbours, family members who feel the executor is hiding something from them, and even solicitation.

Next Steps

Now you may wonder – Is there no easier way to manage the probate process? Of course, there is. It is called The Meristem Probate Administration Service.

The Probate Management Service was birthed to ease off the stress usually encountered during the asset transmission process. The Meristem Probate Management service offers a holistic service to Administrators/Executors of Estates. This involves facilitating the asset transfer to beneficiaries to the point of recovering all outstanding benefits.

Learn more at www.meristemregistrars.com/probate

Or call 0700MERIREG | 07006374734 | 01-2809250-3

 

 

 

 

 

 

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