Probate is actually the type of court that oversees cases regarding estate administration, guardianship and trust actions; however, most people still refer to the action of administering one’s estate as probate.
When a loved one has passed, then generally a person will begin the process of administering their estate through the marshalling of the deceased’s assets. This means that the deceased’s assets need to be collected, managed and distributed. That process can vary from estate to estate based upon a variety of factors, including but not limited to, the type and value of assets, the creditors involved, and whether any pending litigation is occurring or litigation could be brought on behalf of the estate.
In addition to administration, a spouse may need assistance with claiming their fair share of a spouse’s estate if their deceased spouse has written them out of their Last Will, failed to re-write their Last Will or amend a trust after they had married, or has provided less than what a spouse is entitled to by law in the deceased spouse’s Last Will or trust. This is referred to as an elective share, and the elective share is based upon not only assets that are probated, but those that pass via a trust and in some cases, beneficiary designation. It could also encompass large gifts given to others within a year of the spouse’s death. Potential beneficiaries may also need an attorney’s assistance with a Will contest or to oversee an administration of an estate to insure their rights as a beneficiary are protected.
Administration of an estate can take on various forms, depending on the many factors, and include Disposition without Administration, Summary Administration, Formal Administration, Ancillary Administration, and Trust Administration. The Attorneys at All Life Legal are here to help guide you through the process using the most cost efficient method to administer your loved one’s estate.