When a loved one dies, their estate must be settled. This process can be complex, and oftentimes it is necessary to go to court to finalize the settlement. There are many reasons why an estate might have to go through probate court. Here are three common reasons estates must be settled in court and tips for avoiding court when settling your estate.
Lack of a Will
One of the reasons why many estates are settled through court is the lack of a will. When someone dies without a will, their assets are distributed according to state law. This can often lead to conflict among family members, as each person tries to claim a larger share of the estate. In addition, the administrator of the estate may not be familiar with the deceased’s wishes, which can make it difficult to distribute the assets in a way that is fair to all parties involved.
Court intervention can help to resolve these disputes and ensure that the estate is distributed according to the deceased’s wishes. Although settling an estate through court is often more time-consuming and expensive than creating a will, it can ultimately save families a great deal of turmoil.
Heirs Disputes Over Assets
After a person dies, their estate must go through probate in order to determine the rightful heirs to the estate. The purpose of probate is to determine the rightful heirs to an estate. In many cases, probate is the best way to ensure that all of the assets of the estate are distributed fairly and equally among the heirs.
Probate can also help to prevent fraud and other illegal activities associated with the distribution of assets. However, probate can be lengthy and expensive, so it is not always the best option for settling an estate.
A Contested Will
When a loved one passes away, it can be an emotionally devastating experience. If the deceased has left behind a will, this can add a layer of stress to the situation. If there is any disagreement over the contents of the will, or if beneficiaries feel that they have been unfairly treated, the matter may end up being settled in court. This can be a lengthy and costly process, which is why it is often preferable to try to reach an agreement outside of court. However, in some cases, a contested will is the only way to resolve the issue. In these instances, it is important to have experienced legal representation to ensure that your rights are protected.
Estate planning is all about making the transfer of wealth after death simple. Unfortunately, many estates need to be settled in court, which can be costly, time-consuming, and annoying. Be wary of these three reasons that estates are settled in court to avoid them in your estate.
Here’s more to read: WHY ESTATE PLANNING ISN’T SOMETHING YOU CAN DO YOURSELF