Most individuals would not want their loved ones bickering over these important matters after their death, but it can happen. Sometimes the judicial system has to intervene on these estate matters. The concerned parties have to rely on probate courts to make a ruling regarding disputes or to clarify the distribution of assets or property. The following points represent circumstances that might require intervention from probate courts.
Sometimes individuals forget to list beneficiaries for their bank accounts with remaining balances, retirement plan balances, or life insurance policies. Well-meaning individuals may intend to add beneficiaries at a later date. However, they might forget or pass away before they get a chance to list their beneficiaries.
It is also possible for a listed beneficiary to pass away first and the policy or account owner to neglect to update the beneficiary information on an account. If the beneficiary and policyholder tragically pass away at the same time, a probate court will need to determine who is entitled to receive assets and the estate. This is why it is ideal to list more than one beneficiary.
Real Estate Transfers
This process is not complicated if the decedent is a spouse or a legal living arrangement exists such as an individual appearing on the property title or being listed in a living will. Probate courts can enforce the removal of the decedent's name. However, if there is not a will and other loved ones want to challenge who should get the real estate, a probate court will need to gather the facts and transfer the titles accordingly.
Some individuals have various types of property that may be worth millions of dollars. This could create complicated circumstances without a clearly outlined will. Even with a will, family members could challenge beneficiaries listed in probate court. These matters could take a significant amount of time to resolve.
A probate lawyer is a good resource and can be used to help you navigate the judicial system if there are issues regarding a loved one's estate. They can also help you to make plans regarding your own estate and assets while you are still living and able to make competent decisions. This can reduce the chances of complicated matters surfacing when you are deceased.
Attempting to write your own will is risky, and the will could be challenged by some of your loved ones in probate court. Probate lawyer services can aid in ensuring that all concerns are clearly outlined in your will and legally binding.
To learn more, contact a probate lawyer.