The thought of probate court can be a scary place, and many people do everything that they can to avoid probate. A lack of knowledge about the probate court contributes to the fear that many people experience.
In general, there are two functions of probate:
- Ensuring that creditors are paid back from the assets of the estate
- Ensuring that the beneficiaries receive the assets as set forth in the will
Much of what happens in probate court is administrative and only requires executing paperwork and reviewing filings. If your estate planning has been done right, probate can be a relatively simple process. The judge would review the validity of the will and appoint the executor in accordance with the will. The role of the court here is more as an overseer that signs off on the process.
Will Contests or an Intestate Deceased
The judge takes a much more active role if there is no will or if there is a dispute about the validity of the will. Then, the probate court is much more instrumental. The court could order the distribution of the assets if the deceased dies without a will.
If there are disputes, the probate court will turn into a forum for litigation. The judge will conduct a hearing about any will contest or another legal challenge. This will be like any other hearing, with witnesses and evidence. The actions that you take now could reduce the chances of something like this happening, and this is why estate planning is a must.
Speak with Lake County and Lincolnshire Probate Attorney
If an estate is going to probate, or if you want to plan for this process ahead of time, you need legal help to navigate any possible issues. Call a Lake County or Lincolnshire probate attorney with the Law Firm of Charles T. Newland & Associates at 847.797.9300 or contact us online to set up a time to discuss your estate.