Reasons Why Probate Is Not That Bad
One commonly held belief about probate is that it is a complex and negative process that should be avoided whenever possible. In fact, many people focus on setting up their estate plans in a manner that allows them to avoid the probate process. Indeed, probate can be expensive and time-consuming, but, the truth is that, for some people, going through the probate process is not that bad. After all, the probate system was established to protect the property of deceased individuals and their heirs. The misconception that probate is a complicated and negative process that should be avoided whenever possible goes against the truth that some aspects of the probate process may be desirable under certain circumstances.
Below are some reasons why probate is not that bad:
Probate Can Help a Decedent’s Estate Deal With Creditors
Probate laws set limits on how long creditors have to file their claims for payment against an estate. Under California law, creditors of a California resident have four months after the official appointment of an executor to file their claims on an estate. If creditors fail to file their claims on time, they risk losing their right to demand any payment from a decedent’s estate. The probate process ensures that heirs and beneficiaries don’t have to deal with creditors’ claims for years.
Probate Can Help a Decedent’s Estate Challenge the Validity of Debts
Sometimes, creditors try to wrongfully collect on debts from decedents’ estates. Probate allows an estate’s executor to deal with such creditors. If an executor believes that a creditor is trying to wrongfully collect on debts from the decedent’s estate, they can challenge the validity of the creditor’s claim. Probate allows an executor to review the creditor claims for payment and reject invalid claims. Generally, probate enables an executor to avoid using estate assets to pay unnecessary debts.
Probate Offers a Method for Resolving Conflicts Among Family Members
Unfortunately, family members do not always agree after the death of a loved one. Sometimes, family members disagree about the manner of distribution of the estate assets or whether a deceased individual was of sound mind when they made a particular decision in their Will. The probate system offers a chance to settle such disagreements. Once an executor of a Will initiates the probate process, any individual objecting to the manner of distribution of estate assets or authenticity of a decedent’s Will is required to raise their objections formally in probate court. After an individual submits an issue in the probate court, the court conducts a hearing, if necessary, and finds a way to resolve the issues raised.
Indeed, the probate process is usually not fun, and for large and complex estates, the probate process is usually a lengthy one. But, since every situation is unique, it is crucial that you speak to a probate attorney before deciding to avoid the probate process.
Contact a California Probate Lawyer
Indeed, there are situations where probate should be avoided, but there are also situations where probate could work to your advantage. If you need help deciding whether or not to avoid the probate process, contact the dedicated California probate attorney, Robert L. Cohen – The Probate Guy- today to schedule a free telephonic consultation.