Every state has its probate laws for the estate settlement process. The states should follow some common features of probate law provided by the country. UPC sets such a common guideline for the state, which they have to adapt accordingly to their needs.
What Is Probate?
A probate process is a particular type of court case through which the decedent’s assets get a settlement. The process starts after the owner of the property dies. The family of the deceased person can apply for the process of estate settlement. Otherwise, the court takes a step to settle the assets after a certain time by the probate process. The court or the family appoints a lawyer to be the legal representative of the case. The lawyer drags the process correctly and maintains all the rules of intestacy. There may be some will or living trust of the decedent regarding the estate settlement and may not be.
What Is The Uniform Probate Code?
The Uniform Probate Code or UPC is a uniform act for estate settlement cases. Generally, probate law varies in its details, and the law is state jurisdiction. Also, the probate law has to maintain some common features. The National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) approved UPC in 1969. It is a comprehensive statute, which clarifies and modernizes the laws of probate. This act deals with the decedent’s affair, estates, will, or trust under the probate administration’s guidance.
Purpose Of UPC
The sole purpose of this act is to encourage all state probate laws’ uniformity by adopting the code. Some states adopted UPC entirely, and some others adopted a part of the UPC. The Uniform Probate Code (UPC) was revised in 1990 so that the states can adopt their probate laws. Some of the states who adopted UPC entirely are Colorado, Alaska, Arizona, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota, South Carolina, New Mexico, and Utah.
The Object of Uniform Probate Code
There are seven main articles in UPC, which fulfill the purpose of this act. The articles are described here briefly.
Article 1: This article contains the primary definition and jurisdictional statements of the state probate law. Almost all the states follow this article.
Article 2: Article 2 is the intestate succession. It deals with the will or living trust of the deceased person. This article decides what will happen if the decedent did not make a will or trust before death.
Article 3: The third article covers the laws of estate administration. It confirms if the administration is supervised or unsupervised and proceeds accordingly. Unsupervised administration comes when there are no disputes among claimants; multiple assets are not present. In that case, the lawyer can conduct the process through some simple forms. It saves money and time as well. On the other hand, supervised administration deals with substantial assets or contested matters of the process.
Article 4: In this article, the law states for the out-of-state assets. It decides the ancillary probate process, which means the property’s settlement outside of the decedent’s domicile.
Article 5: The protection laws for the disabled and their property in article 5. Here, you will find the process of this matter by appointing a guardian. Also, this article includes the law of guardianship.
Article 6: This article includes the law of non-probate transfer. That means the settlement of the decedent’s assets without any probate case.
Article 7: The last principle article states comprehensive provisions of the trust administration. It depicts the rules for the estate settlement by a living trust.
Impact Of UPC
The uniform probate code brought an impact on the court structure. The purpose of UPC creates a nest court process and clear laws for the states. This act enlarged the jurisdiction of the probate court of the states. The court can appoint a new body of probate judges, which creates a new ambiance of the probate court. This act enlarged the general trial court’s jurisdiction so that all the estate matter comes within the probate laws.
Drawbacks of Uniform Probate Code
Though UPC brought an effective change to the probate administration, it has some consequences. This act could not fulfill all the purposes correctly. In some cases, the probate process is complicated till now. For those cases, you have to compare the state law and UPC for a better solution. Also, some executors do not agree with the UPC.
Uniform Probate Code (UPC) is a common law guideline for all the states. This act reshaped the system of probate administration into a neat and clean process.