Probate is the legal process of settling your estate in court after you die. Your property is gathered and inventoried, your debts are paid, and everything left over is divided among your heirs. Your personal representative is responsible for “probating” your will. If you have no will or did not name a personal representative, the court will appoint one for you. The probate process is expensive and may take one or more years to fully settle your estate. With proper estate planning, you can avoid the probate process.
If your probate estate is worth $75,000 or less, your heirs may be able to collect the property without going to court by using an Affidavit for Collection of Personal Property. Heirs may not take your personal property until 30 days after your death. If your personal property exceeds $75,000 or you own real estate in your name alone, your estate must be probated.
Lallemont Law can assist you in developing an individualized estate plan to avoid the probate process.