What Makes Probate Go Smoothly
When someone dies leaving assets solely in his or her name, it is almost always necessary to resort to probate. Probate is the court process that determines who receives the assets.
Probate generally goes smoothly when:
• The original of the Last Will and Testament can be found and filed with the Probate Court.
• The Last Will and Testament is valid with a self-proving affidavit so the Probate Court doesn’t need to issue commissions.
• The person named as Personal Representative (referred to in older wills as the Executor or the Executrix) is alive and willing to serve when appointed by the Probate Court.
• The will does not omit a living spouse.
• The will is written so family harmony is not disrupted.
• The terms of the will are clear and well-defined and do not need to be interpreted by the Probate Court.
• There are not a lot of creditors or creditors who are owed large sums of money.
• It is clear that the person signing the will was competent.
Most Last Wills and Testaments meet the requirements to ensure that probate goes smoothly. When these requirements are not met, the process gets more involved but can be handled by an experienced probate attorney. If you are needing help probating an estate, please call me: Margaret E. Dean, 816-753-3100.
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