As everyone has life, one day, everyone will eventually die. To protect the assets and the myriad of properties individuals have, one must invest in a solid estate plan and make consequent investments in ensuring they have a smooth probate process. To ensure your family’s financial security, you must take every precaution when it comes to bequeathing your wealth. Whether or not your family will be safe after your demise? Asking such pertinent questions to probate lawyers is one of the most crucial aspects of preparing a structured Will. Probate is the legal process of proving the authenticity of a will.
Dealing With Final Bills & Debt Before Probate
One of the most imperative actions an individual can take is dealing with a decedent’s liabilities. Invest in a probate lawyer who will smoothen this process for you. In a world where assets increase your chances of a tax-break, make sure your assets’ liabilities are paid off. This is because eventually one day your assets will be bequeathed to an individual. You do not want to give your family nominal gifts and properties mired with liabilities. Additionally, the before-mentioned process can start even before the Probate process officially begins. Thus, it is wise to smoothen the probate process and successfully transfer your property to your listed heirs. Since most people get easily confused as to what to present in court, read the following list of bills and statements to better understand what these potential debts might be:
- Car and/or boat loans
- Lines of Credit
- Federal & State Income Taxes
- Personal loans
- Credit Card Bills
- Utility Bills
- Storage Fees
This is the key to decreasing the cost of probating – an affair that is expensive as it is. Moreover, estate personal representatives help in this process by taking care of these bills when settling an estate. This should alleviate some of the pressures usually beneficiaries feel in terms of a decedent’s properties’ liabilities.
Types of Liabilities Applicable During Probate
Probating can often get stressful and complex due to the range of documents that have to be presented in court. Thus, understanding the importance of evenly dividing up your liabilities into categories is pertinent to probating.
Liabilities can be divided into administrative expenses and a decedent’s final bills. Administrative expenses include costs such as mortgage, condominium fees, property taxes, etc.
Decedent’s final bills include liabilities such as personal loans, loans against life insurance, federal & state income taxes, etc. Even cell-phone bills can come under the periphery of this type of liability. These are the liabilities beneficiaries need not pay off using their own money.
The Role of The Estate’s Executor(s) During Probate
An estate’s executor/personal representative plays the role of handling the estate’s state after the death of an individual. This is done so as to make sure that beneficiaries are not bequeathed the liabilities of an estate. What is the point in that? Furthermore, an executor will provide documents and statements which prove which liabilities are valid and which are not. One has to understand that liabilities that hold no power in court are not admissible in the said court. Additionally, the executor’s job entails making sure the beneficiaries do not pay off liabilities out of their own pocket. Hence, the importance of having an honest executor who has the best interests of the decedent and the heirs in mind.
Mortgage & Probate
Mortgages are an integral part of administrative expenses. In the event that a beneficiary does pay for the mortgages prior to the opening up of probate, he/she is to be reimbursed by the personal representative. This is because the beneficiary is one who is to benefit off of the transference of property. Furthermore, the Garn-St. Germain Depository Institutions Act of 1982 ensures that beneficiaries can assume mortgage during or after probate.
Would you be comfortable with giving your family the debts relating to your property, especially costly liabilities such as a mortgage? Taking your time to infer what and how probate works and then mapping out a well-made plan is one of the key aspects of probating. Seek advice from your probate lawyer, and from your executor, then figure out ways of solving your debts before probate.
Always ensure to invest in a probate lawyer who will bring to your attention the possible costs of probating. Additionally, a probate lawyer alongside an executor will not allow your beneficiaries to suffer the overall burden of your debts. The confusion that ensues in the process of solving your debts will best be resolved by your personal representative. Thus, you need not worry, only make sure the issues surrounding the liabilities of assets are resolved before probating ever begins.