Probate is a word that can bring up many different mental images, but the general meaning of this word is very different when comparing it to the popular legal definition. Even among the various legal terms available, it’s worth noting that even several similar sounding terms are going to have quite different meanings. Legally speaking, probate refers to any law having to do with a legal will or executing the process of divvying up an estate after the owner’s death. What does this all include?
Probate & Wills
The most important aspect to a probate case is proving not only that a will actually was the true last wishes of whoever made it, but also that the will is legally viable and follows all the specific rules of state and federal law in order to be properly executed. This is part of the reason why having a lawyer look over your will is so important: to make sure it is actually acceptable according to court standards.
In many cases, a video tape or a written form with signature isn’t enough to guarantee that a deceased individual’s belongings are split the way that he/she wants them to be. The only way to make absolutely sure that the list wishes are followed is to make sure an experienced probate lawyer draws up the papers and helps to execute them.
While having some nonlegal documents is generally better than having nothing at all, there’s a reason probate law exists, and that isn’t even going into the fact that there is an entire court system dedicated to focusing specifically on any disagreements that come up with these very specific and important cases. Many people want to avoid probate so their loved ones can inherit their assets in a quick and timely fashion. This reinforces why having a probate attorney help draft up your living will can help your family from more legal responsibility in the future.