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What is Probate Law?

Probate law is a court process that determines the validity of a Will of a deceased person. If the individual leaves a Will, the probate court may decide to give it legal effect after submitting it to a probate procedure. If the decedent does not leave a Will, the court appoints a representative to dispense with the property of the deceased according to the laws related to hereditary succession. It is advisable to take on the service of will and estate lawyers to understand the complexities in the probate process.

Probate of a Will

The individual in possession of a deceased person’s Will, who is generally the decedent’s lawyer, must produce it in court within a specific time. Suppression of the will or failure to produce it may incur penalties for the individual.

Probate proceedings usually take place in the state in which the deceased held permanent residence. If the person had real estate property in another state, a probate for distributing the assets related to the property must take place in that state, as well.

The details in the Will must comply with statutory requirements. If the court suspects any kind of fraudulent activity or coercion made to the Will by interested parties, it will deny a probate.

Probate Proceedings

Probate procedures can be either formal or informal.  Formal proceedings are long drawn and expensive. An informal probate is appropriate for small estates.

The deceased person’s personal representative or attorney files the Will, a copy of the death certificate and a petition for the probate with a probate court clerk. The petition requests documents that can authorize the representative to deal out the assets as mentioned in the Will.

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