Estate Planning – Wills and Probate
A will directs the distribution of probate property. Probate property is defined as any asset which does not automatically pass to a beneficiary at a person’s death. Some examples of nonprobate property include jointly held property, insurance, retirement benefits, and trusts. A will is only able to govern probate property and has no influence on nonprobate property.
Probate is the court-supervised process of the distribution of the assets governed by a person’s will. The court will appoint a personal representative (as designated in the decedent’s will) who will be in charge of paying the decedent’s funeral expenses, debts, taxes, and expenses associated with administering the decedent’s estate. Under court supervision, the remaining probate property is distributed to the beneficiaries. The costs associated with the probate process include payment to the probate court, personal representative fees, and attorneys’ fees. There are several ways to avoid the probate process, one of the most common methods being to hold property in a revocable living trust.
Our attorneys can assist you through this process, whether you are taking steps for the future or have a family member that has passed and are trying to navigate the probate landscape. Either way, Immix attorneys will ensure that all legal issues are completed efficiently and correctly.