Many people often create estate plans or obtain attorneys to avoid their assets spending time in probate after they pass away. It can be completely overwhelming to be faced with complicated probate situations while grieving the loss of a loved one. Many hope that once the estate of a loved one enters probate that they will come out the other side as quickly as possible. However, at times, it can be incredibly beneficial to obtain the experience and support of an estate-planning attorney to help. It is all too common to face a number of challenges when enduring probate, especially surrounding a will.
Executor of the Will
The executor is charged with carrying the heavy load of settling the estate of the person who passed away. An executor is usually a close family or friend that is charged with carrying out this duty. The process is initiated when the court officially swears in the executor and given letters of testamentary. Letters of testamentary are documents that identify the executor. The executor can provide letters of testamentary to any creditors or financial institutions that are part of the estate. They allow the executor to make decisions in the name of the estate. An executor’s duties are ended when the probate process is complete and all assets have been disbursed.
Problems with the Will
Sometimes, there can be problems that come up with the will. Depending on the specific circumstance it could potentially cause some serious issues. If this is the case, it will be necessary to have the assistance of an attorney throughout. Although someone may come forward with an issue surrounding the will, it is very rare for a will to not pass through probate. Despite this, it can still tie up the process. Here are some common issues with wills that could come up:
Contested Wills: In some cases, contentious family situations may arise. Family members may attempt to contest a will in an effort to obtain an inheritance from the estate, especially if they weren’t named in the will. In most situations, the court will continue to follow the will that was outlined by the deceased. However, if the will is suspected of being fraudulent or completed under duress, it could be deemed invalid.
Outdated Wills: When a new will is created, the older or outdated one should be destroyed. A newer will is always chosen over outdated wills.
The process of dying “intestate,” is when a person passes away without a will in place. This can be nerve-wracking for beneficiaries because it requires the state to determine who will inherit the assets of your loved one. Although court decisions regarding dying without a will can vary, the fate of your potential inheritance is in the court’s hands. As a result, you are at risk of not inheriting what you may feel entitled to. When a married person dies without a will in place, it is common for the husband or wife to automatically inherit the assets of their spouse.
Unfortunately, problems such as these can extend the process and cause unwanted stress during a highly emotional time. A probate lawyer Memphis, Tennessee trusts can be an asset to you when you are faced with probate. They can help you tackle obstacles that may come your way.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at Wiseman Bray PLLC for their insight into estate planning and probate.