How Does Probate Work?

by | Mar 19, 2013 | legal-2

Probate is a term that most people have heard of but many do not fully understand. It has something to do with what happens to a person’s estate after they die but what does that really mean? The reality of the fact is that the term probate can mean different things. It can presentation of a will to the court for filing (therefore a verb) but most commonly is is referred to as the method by which a person’s estate is processed and distributed through the courts after his or her death. No matter which definition, you will want to consult with a probate attorney in Harrisburg area when either one is at hand.

Probate is a way to help ensure that any estate is processed in an orderly and fair manner. This is done primarily to ensure that all taxes or other financial obligations are met first and foremost. It is only after this point that any heirs or beneficiaries are to receive any portion due to them. A Probate attorney in Harrisburg will be quick to point out to you that probate happens whether or not a will is in place at the time of death. If there is a will, that document simply serves to determine how the estate is transferred during probate. When there is no will, local laws determine how the estate is dispersed. Clearly, you will want a good probate attorney in Harrisburg regardless of whether or not there is a will.

There are some basic steps in probate and the first is all focused on paying any debts owed by the person who has died. This can be anything from taxes to loans and more. Once all debts are satisfied, your probate attorney in Harrisburg will guide you through the process for dispersing any remaining assets (money or belongings) to the heirs or those stated in the will, if there is a will. Your probate attorney in Harrisburg will work and consult closely with the probate court that oversees the whole process. The laws and processes governing probate courts vary from state to state and you will need to ensure your lawyer is familiar with local laws. This is important if you are the heir of someone who died in a state other than where you live. You will want to have an attorney in the state where the death occurred, not where you live.

While probate can seem a daunting process, it is developed to ensure fairness in transactions and help protect all parties. Make sure that you work with a good probate attorney in Harrisburg to ensure you are fairly represented in the process.

Get a good referral for a probate attorney in Harrisburg when you are working through a loved one’s probate. Serratelli, Schiffman & Brown P.C. lawyers will ensure all legal commitments are followed through and everything runs smoothly.

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