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             19 May, 2019
 

    
Category:  Articles » Legal » Living-Will

 

Probate Court - Sorting Out the Intricacies of Inheritance

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2008-07-14 09:14:56     
Article by Simon Volkov

Probate court is a special court that addresses matters governed by equity law. The primary function of this court is to oversee equitable disbursement of the estates of individuals who are deceased. However, it also oversees hundreds of legal matters including adoption, guardianship, marriage and name changes.

In 1784, probate courts came into existence in the United States, with the first established in Massachusetts. Its judiciary role is to provide distribution of estate assets and enforce equity law. Depending on the jurisdiction of the probate court, it may also be referred to as Court of Ordinary, Court of Equity, Orphans Court or Surrogate Court.

Equity law refers to an order which directs an individual to act or to refrain from acting. It differs from laws regulated by courts in that court regulated laws pertain to doctrines or statutes, while equity law is enforced by general guides known as "maxims of equity."

Within the United States, each state is governed by probate laws adopted by their state government. Therefore, the probate process varies from state to state. Nearly all states require an estate to be administered by an appointed Executor. This person can be appointed through a Will or if a person dies intestate (leaving no valid Will), the court will appoint one. Usually this is a family member, but if the decedent has no living relatives the court will appoint an outsider to handle the case.

Although probate laws vary from state to state, nearly all require an estate to be overseen by an appointed Executor or Administrator. The estate executor is responsible for filing necessary documents including inventory, accounting and tax forms, and distribution of assets to beneficiaries and heirs.

The Executor reports to a probate judge and provides evidence that everything in the estate has been accounted for and settled. The judge reviews the case to ensure provisions in the decedent's Last Will and Testament have been adhered to and creditors and taxes have been fully reimbursed. Once the judge signs off on the case, inheritance assets can be distributed to heirs.

Due to the intense amount of man-hours required to investigate an estate, assets are frequently tied up in the probate process for a minimum of six months. One way to avoid probate is to file a revocable living trust.

Probate court isn't limited to only estate administration. It is responsible for overseeing all cases which require the enforcement of equity law. Additional functions of probate court include guardianship arrangements, adoptions, birth recordings, birth certificates, name changes and marriage licenses. In essence, probate court addresses daily living (and dying) issues.

Additionally, probate courts oversee civil actions relating to probate. Common civil actions include contest of the Will, determination of heirs, and presumption of death. Civil actions are the only cases presented in probate court that require a jury trial.

Simon Volkov is a private note investor who specializes in helping individuals quickly liquidate their assets. From forthcoming Inheritance windfalls to Probate, Simon Volkov offers a host of solutions for those in need of cash. Learn more about probate, real estate and investment opportunites by visiting http://www.SimonVolkov.com.

Specialized in: Promissory Note - Short Sale - Probate - Foreclosure - Bank - Sfr - Buy Distressed Properties - Banks - Financial Institutions - Liquidate - Pre Foreclosure - Real Estate Portfolios - Investors - Real Estate Investment - Seller Carry Back - Promissory Notes - Individuals - Facing Foreclosure
URL: http://www.simonvolkov.com
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