When a death occurs, it may be necessary to probate a will. Although most people have heard the phrase “probate a will,” not everyone who is forced to cope with a death of a loved one actually knows what it means to go through the probate process. The process of probating a will can be a complicated process but it is an important one.
Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can guide the executor of an estate and heirs or beneficiaries through the probate process. Our legal team can explain to you what is involved when you must probate a will and can guide you though fulfilling your role while a will is probated. The job of an executor of an estate is very different than the job of heirs or beneficiaries during probate, but everyone who is involved in the probate process after a death should know the rules within Connecticut for the transfer of assets. Our legal team can help you to understand the process and fulfill your role, so call today.
What Does it Mean to Probate a Will?
Probate is a process in which a will is validated and assets are officially legally transferred to heirs or beneficiaries as designated in the will. When you are told you have to probate a will after a death, this means you must formally go through the process of going to probate court, presenting the will, and showing that it is a legitimate reflection of the wishes of the deceased created in accordance with Connecticut law.
During the probate process, interested parties can challenge the validity of the will. If the probate court determines it is not valid, they can refuse to probate the will and instead intestacy law could be used to determine who inherits the assets the deceased person left behind. If the will is determined valid, then it will be probated and the executor of an estate will take charge of officially making a transfer of ownership of assets. This can include changing deeds and titles, among other steps.
What is Involved in the Probate Process?
The probate process can be complicated, as there are many steps involved when you probate a will. The executor of an estate, who is named in the will, has the biggest role to play and the most responsibility during probate. The executor is a fiduciary and must act in the best interests of the estate. The executor must manage estate assets, provide notification of the probate process to creditors and heirs or beneficiaries, and take care of the technical and logistical requirements involved in probate. This can include addressing complicated tax issues related to Connecticut and federal estate tax.
Heirs or beneficiaries do not have the same kinds of formal responsibilities as an executor of an estate, but it is their inheritance that could be adversely impacted if something goes wrong during the process of probating a will. Heirs or beneficiaries may wish to hire a Connecticut probate lawyer to help oversee the steps taken to probate a will. An attorney can provide advice to heirs or beneficiaries if the executor of an estate is not fulfilling his responsibilities and doing his job properly and can assist those who stand to inherit in taking legal action if there is a problem.
Because the decisions made as the court probates a will can have a profound impact on the future of those who inherit, all interested parties and all who are involved in the probate process should make sure they have gotten professional legal advice on what it means to probate a will.
Getting Help from A Probate Lawyer
Nirenstein, Horowitz & Associates can provide assistance to anyone who is involved in the process of probating a will after death. Whatever you role, whether you are an executor of an estate or an heir or beneficiary or other interested party, we will work with you to understand your duties and protect your rights. Our legal team can also work with you during the estate planning process to find ways to transfer assets outside of probate so your family members are not forced to wait for probate to complete before they can receive any part of their inheritance.
To find out more about the probate process and about ways to avoid it or streamline it, download our free estate planning worksheet or give us a call. If your loved one has died and you want help to understand what it means to probate a will, you should also contact our Connecticut probate lawyers for help. Give us a call at 860-548-1000 or contact us online to talk with an attorney who can assist you in protecting your inheritance or fulfilling your duties during probate.