The passing of a loved one can be a trying time for anyone. In addition to heartache, you may also have to deal with the frustrating process of settling the estate of the diseased. This process can become frustrating and expensive if the estate goes through a legal process called probate.
The first challenge that may arise is called intestate succession. This means that someone who owned property has died without leaving a will. For intestate succession to happen, one also needs to be unmarried or widowed at the time of death, since assets automatically transfer a spouse if no will is created.
If your loved one has died intestate, you may have to go through the probate process, which will involve your local court. Some assets will not have to go through probate, like life insurance policies, which often have a named beneficiary attached. Still, assets such as homes and vehicles will have to be divided up by the court. To avoid probate, it is important to have a will or trust set up, describing how you want the estate to work in the event of your death. This will allow your loved ones to bypass probate court entirely.
If you do end up having to go to probate court, it is well worth it to contact a professional to help you through the process. If you have any questions about probate, let us know. As a licensed legal document preparer with the state of Arizona, Senior Planning can help you with the probate process at a far lower cost than an attorney.