Probate is something that concerns many people dealing with an estate. The process can be tedious and time-consuming. However, some families manage to make it through probate with a minimum of difficulty. The judge can play an important role in the probate process.
Your best hope is that the probate court judge performs mostly an administrative function in your case with a minimal role. This means that there are no issues regarding the will. When the judge performs a role beyond that, there is usually some kind of dispute or uncertainty.
When the Probate Judge Has a Larger Role
Simply stated, the probate court judge will oversee your case. They become more involved if there is a dispute over the validity of the will or if the person died without a will.
If there is a will contest or doubts about the authenticity of the will, the probate court judge will preside over a hearing. This will be like any other court case, where witnesses are called, and evidence is presented. The judge will make rulings on the evidence and will issue the ultimate decision of any issues that are in dispute.
The other important function of the probate court judge is to decide the personal representative when there is no will. State law will dictate the allocation of the property between the heirs, and the judge will sign off on the final arrangement. Of course, if the heirs do not get along, the judge may need to decide disputes in the meantime.
Libertyville Estate Planning Attorneys
The probate process can be managed, or even avoided, with the help of an experienced estate planning attorney. Contact the attorneys at Charles T. Newland and Associates online or call us at 847.797.9300 to discuss your estate planning needs.