Probate is one of those terms that people hear a lot but do not have a good understanding of what it means. In the simplest language possible, probate is a legal process in which a deceased person’s estate is settled, meaning that the assets are distributed and the debts are paid. These tasks typically fall to the executor named in the decedent’s will. While this sounds pretty easy, probate can be quite complicated in many cases.
To help our readers in Michigan develop a better understanding of what goes on during probate, we have put together the following basic information. Although this information can help, we still urge residents to seek legal representation or advice before attempting to handle the probate process alone.
- The executor gathers the deceased person’s probate property.
- He or she also collects any income and assets owed to the decedent.
- The next step involves paying all the estate’s taxes and debts.
- If all has gone well, one of the last steps in probate is transferring the decedent’s remaining assets to his or her heirs.
Unfortunately, one of the main things that can complicate probate is a dispute between the deceased party’s beneficiaries. When a dispute occurs, it is the executor’s responsibility to settle the matter. As you might expect, this can slow the probate process and create stress for all involved parties.
It might not be possible to avoid disputes altogether, but we want you to know that working with a qualified legal professional can help executors handle disputes more efficiently. To those who have not yet created an estate plan detailing the disposition of assets and liabilities, it is worth noting that you can help your family avoid conflict by getting your affairs in order before you pass away. Continue browsing our website if you want more information.