The probate procedure is specifically designed for facilitating the transfer of estate assets from the deceased to his or her beneficiaries. There are different steps involved in the process like estate valuation for tax purposes and the scope for creditors to come up with claims.
In situations when the decedent has left behind a will, the process is relatively simple and straightforward. But most of the time, several problems can arise during this procedure.
To face the challenges during the process, it is always advisable to take proper help from the attorneys working in this field. Probate lawyers can offer legal representation to the ones facing the problems.
Some Common Issues That May Arise During the Probate Procedure
In almost all states, challenges can be faced by individuals undergoing probate proceedings. Some of the most common issues are:
Designated Executor Does Not Want to Serve the Role
This is probably one of the most common challenges faced during the probate procedure. When a person creates a will, he or she names an executor of the will. This is the person who takes up the responsibility of managing the assets of the individual after they pass away.
It is also the job of the executor to ensure that the probate procedure goes on smoothly. The majority of the individuals designated as executors take up the role excitingly and with full responsibility. But some others are not willing to do so.
In case the executor named in the will opts out of serving this role, the court appoints some other individual to take care of the probate proceedings.
Probate Involves Disagreement over Estate Value
It is essential to value property, money, and other valuable estate assets accurately. There are a number of reasons why it is important to come up with an accurate valuation of the estate assets, with the major one being the need to determine if the estate taxes need to be assessed and in what amount.
The IRS or Internal Revenue Service indicates the estate taxes assessed on the estate assets at a certain value. Are the estates close to the value set by the IRS for the estate taxes? Then problems pertaining to the estate valuation can get very common during probate.
Challenges to the validity of the Will
Most of the time, the beneficiaries or the heirs are of the view that the will or the last testament of the deceased is not valued. They consider the will to be invalid because it was made when the decedent was under some kind of influence or because it was framed through fraud.
The individuals challenging the validity of the will need to bring forth the reasons and the proofs of the document being invalid. If the reasons or the proofs are accurate, the will is not enforced.
Availability of Several Wills in Probate
Sometimes, several wills are available, thus making it necessary to identify the newest one and the one that needs to be enforced.
Allegations Against the Executor
It is the executor’s job to manage the estate assets responsibly and carefully for the advantage of the beneficiaries. This is the fiduciary duty of the executor. But what happen in case the executor is not able to manage the assets properly and use the assets personally? The victims or the beneficiaries harmed by the breach of duty can make damage claims. Claims can also be made when the executor is not able to live up to obligations.
Cost is a Major Problem
Since probate is a legal proceeding. There are a lot of costs in the procedure. A major part of the cost goes into hiring a lawyer who takes care of the entire process. Also, since the process is time-consuming, a lot of money goes into handling the process over the course of time.
Other costs include the filing fee and money that goes into arranging court papers. All these expenses and more lead people into avoiding the probate procedure altogether.
These are just a few of the several problems that might arise during the probate process. The process can even result in disagreements and fights between the family members, reduction in the value of the estate assets, and various other unwanted consequences.
It is only because of these problems that many individuals lookout for ways that can help them do away with these issues altogether. But the fact is that many do not know that it is possible to find affordable probate lawyers who can help them do away with these problems.