Experienced And Effective Representation For Probate And Intestate Estate Administration
For more than 30 years, The Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman has been providing our clients with experienced and effective representation on probate and intestate estate administration matters.
Probate is the legal process whereby the court supervises the distribution of assets left by a deceased person, legally referred to as the decedent. If the decedent left a will, the will must be proved and determine who receives the decedent’s estate. If the decedent did not have a will, the estate will pass by intestate succession and state law will determine the heirs of the estate. Assets include anything a person owns with value such as real estate, personal property, cash, vehicles and other possessions.
Probate is not always necessary and can be avoided through proper estate planning. Bank accounts, certificates of deposit and other investments can be transferred to the named beneficiary to be paid on death. Estates with minimal assets such as personal belongings or household goods can generally be distributed to the rightful beneficiaries without court supervision.
Probate is generally required in the following situations:
- To clear title to land, stocks and bonds, or large bank or savings and loan accounts that were held in the name of the deceased person only, and transfer title to the rightful beneficiaries
- To collect debts or monies owed to the deceased person
- To settle disputes between parties who claim they are entitled to assets of the decedent
- To resolve any dispute regarding the validity of the decedent’s will
The probate process is complicated and generally takes at least six months or longer where there are considerable assets such as real estate holdings. Paul F. Sherman is an experienced and effective probate attorney who can help you understand and guide you through the intricacies of the probate process in a timely, cost-effective manner.
Paul F. Sherman Is An Experienced And Effective Probate Lawyer
The probate process begins with the decedent’s will. If the decedent died with a will, the will is “proved” and delivered to the court. If there is no will, the estate will proceed intestate according to state law.
A personal representative is selected. The personal representative is the person designated to handle the decedent’s affairs. A will generally names the personal representative of the decedent. If the decedent dies without a will, the court will determine the personal representative, usually the spouse, an adult child or another close family member. If none of these people are available or willing to serve as the personal representative, the court may appoint a bank, trust company or lawyer to act as the personal representative.
In large estates, a surety bond will be required by the court to protect estate assets.
Notice is required to heirs and creditors. The notice of the estate proceedings must be published in local newspaper. The notice informs creditors that they have four months to bring any claim against the estate for debts the decedent owes them. The personal representative also gives notice to all known creditors.
The assets of the estate are identified and an inventory is filed with the court. The personal representative is charged with identifying and determining the value of the decedent’s assets. This process can be quite complicated in large estates with multiple real estate holdings.
The personal representative will pay the debts of the decedent and ensure that creditors are paid. Creditors must be paid from the assets of the estate before the remaining assets are distributed to the rightful beneficiaries of the estate.
Taxes are paid. The personal representative prepares all state and federal tax returns and any inheritance, gift and estate tax returns and pays any taxes due and owing.
An accounting is prepared and filed with the court. The account shows all money paid out from the estate and all money collected by the estate. The account details actions taken in connection with the probate of the estate.
After approval of the account and payment of all unpaid probate expenses, the assets are distributed as specified in the will or to the heirs of the decedent.
The personal representative is entitled to compensation for their expenses and time in administrating the estate. Compensation will be approved by the court.
Contact Paul F. Sherman For Expert Advice Regarding Probate And Intestate Estate Administration And Get The Results You And Your Family Deserve
A personal representative is a fiduciary and is responsible for properly managing the assets of the estate. As such, the personal representative must be thorough, detail-oriented, organized, and act impartially toward, creditors, heirs and beneficiaries of the estate.
It is essential that the personal representatives have sound legal advice to help them navigate this complex process. The Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman has decades of vital experience in handling probate and intestate estates. You do not have to face the complexities of probate alone. We are here to help. We are determined to get you the best possible outcome in your case. We offer personal service with proven results. We are experienced, skilled and affordable.
We know you have questions and we have answers. If you would like more information about probate or intestate estate administration, call The Law Offices of Paul F. Sherman at 503-223-8441 or contact us online for a free consultation.