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Is Probate Necessary For The Widow?

The woman that lost the husband recently will be faced with numerous financial and sometimes legal issues. One of the possible issues is related to the necessity to probate the estate of the husband following his death. There are various things that need to be known but the basics are the ones listed below.

When Should A Probate Be Filed?

When there are different assets that just the husband legally owns, they will need to be probated before it is possible to get transfers done to the name of the wife. For instance, if the name of the wife is present on a home, the probate is not needed. When there is an asset that was passed through beneficiary designation (the most common example being an insurance policy) and there is one beneficiary that is alive as a minimum, the probate is needed.

What Is The Probate?

According to specialized probate attorneys in Seattle, the probate can be defined as being a specific court procedure that will transfer title ownership from the deceased person to heirs. A will is filed when it exists, it is accepted by a court, assets are listed together with value, debts are paid and what remains will be distributed to people listed in that will. When wills are not present, the state laws are considered to distribute properties listed in probates.

Do You Necessarily Have To Probate Assets?

A complete inventory tells you if the probate should be started or not. In an assets inventory there is a specific form that highlights the titles of the assets. For instance, names of owners are listed. When there are assets that will only feature the name of the husband, probating all of them will be needed.

Basically, probates are necessary whenever:

  • Assets listed are titled to the name of the husband and no other owners are listed.
  • You are beneficiary of a life insurance policy, IRT, annuity or retirement plan.
  • The main beneficiary of a life insurance policy is no longer alive.
  • Both secondary and primary beneficiaries of assets are dead.

Whenever one of the situations mentioned above will be present, the probate is necessary. This is needed when a will a present or when it is not.

The Presence Of The Will

If the will is present, assets are going to be transferred to people that are named for the appropriate assets. When no will is present, things become a little complicated. In this case there is normally a need to hire an attorney because state laws are going to dictate who will get the properties. Probate attorneys are specialized in such processes.

The Need Of An Attorney

Generally speaking, whenever it is possible that a dispute will appear, the probate attorney is needed. When there is no possibility that contesting an asset transfer will be done by a third party, the attorney is not necessary. However, in many cases probate courts are busy. That is especially the case when looking at larger metropolitan areas.

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