When a loved one dies, their loved ones are left to manage the estate. During that process, several legal and administrative functions occur, including probate, the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims against the estate, and distributing the dead person's property.
An estate is a legal term for people's property when they die. An estate must go through what is known as testamentary probate to be wound up and administered.
If you die without leaving a valid will, your estate will go through specific rules set out in the Administration of Estates Act 1925.
However, potential heirs or other creditors may challenge the will's contents, asserting that they are entitled to more than what has been left for them. In these circumstances, a probate court decides whose claims are valid or not and makes the appropriate adjustments to the final distribution of assets under the probated will.
It's very similar to the bankruptcy process in that potential creditors must be given notice and an opportunity to contest the validity of the probated will. Still, if they fail to do so or make claims lower priority, those claims are extinguished.
The court proceedings to determine whether someone is legally allowed to manage another person's estate (money, property, investments).
The probate court must step in when someone dies without a will. These proceedings are very much like a bankruptcy case. The court will establish priorities and terminate inferior claims.
Spouses are usually first in line, then children, then other family members. Each state has specific laws on this, so it's essential to check with a lawyer in your state to see what happens if you don't have a will in place.
Uniform Probate Code In the United States, state probate laws can be thorny and difficult to navigate. To help deal with that, the Uniform Probate Code was created to standardize state probate laws, making it easier for estate administrators to navigate the various nuances.
While large states such as Florida, New York, and California have adopted the Uniform Probate Code, others have not, notably smaller or rural conditions. As a result, it's essential to do research first with those states to understand the state probate laws since estate administrators will have to navigate and deal with different legalities, depending on whether the legal test requires or excludes specific provisions.