Probate

Basics

The legal process of transferring property upon a person's death is known as "probate." Although probate customs and laws have changed over time, the purpose has remained the same:  people formalize their intentions regarding the transfer of their property at the time of their death (typically in a  will), their property is collected, certain debts are paid from the estate, and the property is distributed. 

Probate Administration

The probate process may be contested or uncontested. Most contested issues generally arise in the probate process because a disgruntled heir is seeking a larger share of the decedent's property than he or she received.  Arguments often raised include:  the decedent may have been improperly influenced in making gifts, the decedent did not  know what they were doing (insufficient mental capacity) at the time the will was executed, and the decedent did not follow the necessary legal formalities in drafting his or her will.   Tom can help you with the process which includes: 

  • Collecting all probate property of the decedent
  • Paying all debts, claims and taxes owed by the estate
  • Collecting all rights to income, dividends, etc.
  • Settling any disputes
  • Distributing or transferring the remaining property to the heirs