A probate form is required when engaging in proceedings that take place in probate court. These include estate settlement, name changes, adoption, conservatorship, guardianship, recording or making changes to trusts, and litigation associated with probate estates.
The probate form is necessary to obtain a case number for probated estates or to record legal changes through the court. Records retained through probate court are a matter of public record and can be viewed by anyone that wants to see them. The exception to this rule is matters related to trusts
Trusts are used to safeguard estate assets and avoid probate. Within the U.S. every person's estate has to pass through probate upon death. This method is necessary to transfer property to designated beneficiaries and heirs; notify government entities of the death; clear outstanding debts owed by decedents; and file final tax returns.
When a person transfers estate assets to a trust the property is no longer considered as part of the trust and doesn't have to go through the probate process. Trusts are typically used when estate assets surpass $100,000 and when people want to keep their last will and testament private.
The last Will is a vital part of estate planning because it provides instructions about how the estate should be settled and who receives inheritance property. People often procrastinate about writing a Will, but this can be a tragic mistake.
When a person dies without a Will it makes estate settlement more difficult for their family. Relatives have to file the death certificate through probate court and attend a special hearing to have an estate agent appointed to perform settlement duties.
Estate agents are not allowed to engage in any settlement duties until they have received court confirmation. Inheritance property is often tied-up in court for several months and is distributed to direct lineage heirs according to state probate law.
The only way to ensure relatives receive the property you want them to have is to place your desires in writing using a last Will. Wills are also required when setting up a trust. While trusts aren't managed through the courts, they have to be filed and recorded through the probate office.
There are several kinds of estate probate forms that are filed. Some of the more common include: agreement and receipt for deposit of Will; estate claims; validation of estate settlement; and disposition of personal property to heirs and beneficiaries.
Other proceedings handled through the probate office include probate conservatorship, guardianship, legal name changes, adoption, and emancipation. The types of probate forms required vary dependent on the circumstances of the proceeding.
One of the more complex proceedings is that of probate conservatorship. This kind of action is required to appoint someone as a caregiver to an adult that cannot care for their self.
Establishing conservatorship usually involves submitting several probate forms to the court. Common conservatorship forms include: petition for appointment of conservatorship; order appointing conservatorship; letters of conservatorship; and citation for conservatorship.
When major life changes like the above take place it's crucial to file the appropriate probate form. It's recommended to talk to a lawyer to determine which form is required and how it is used. We invite you to learn more about each type of form and its uses in our estate planning article library.
Published on October 19, 2011 at 03:30 AM
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