Administering an estate after a loved one passes can be a very stressful and difficult time for many people. Luckily, we’re here to help. Working with an experienced Coeur d’Alene probate attorney can help to plan ahead to avoid your estate going through the probate process.
What is a Probate in Idaho?
The probate process is the process of obtaining authority to distribute assets and pay all debts of an estate.
The probate process consists of:
- filing a petition with the court to appoint a personal representative
- paying off debts
- distributing assets
- filing an inventory of the estate
- closing the probate
Probate can be a lengthy and costly process. A Probate with no hiccups can take about six months. A Probate with problems or contentions can take even longer. Appropriate Estate Planning can prevent friends and family from having to go through the probate process, however, if a Probate is necessary our probate attorneys can guide you each step of the way and help make an unfortunate situation a little less difficult.
What is the Affidavit Procedure?
Some estates can be administered by utilizing the Small Estate Affidavit procedure. For this process, the estate must be valued at less than $100,000.00, must not consist of real property, and forty days have to have passed since the date of death. This is a simple process that we can help you with.
Frequently Asked Questions About Probate in Spokane and Tri-Cities
Can Probate Be Avoided?
Yes, probate can be avoided. Examples to include a Trust, small estate affidavit and a transfer on death deed.
How Long Does Probate Typically Take?
The probate process in can vary anywhere from four months up to a year. However, it can take even longer than that for complicated or contested estates. Probate is a complicated process with many moving pieces, however, it doesn’t have to be. A typical probate takes six months to complete, however, it can be expedited and take only several months.
Who Is Responsible for Initiating Probate?
The executor of a will is responsible to initiate the probate process, retain an attorney, and take care of all financial obligations the deceased person left behind. An executor is usually named in a will, but the probate court will appoint a relative to handle the probate process if no will is available.
What Happens During the Probate Process?
The executor of a will, or an individual appointed by the probate court if there wasn’t a will, is responsible for dispersing real and personal property and collecting debts owed to the deceased. A list of assets in the estate is prepared and beneficiaries named in the will (or heirs-at-law if there isn’t a will) are notified of the probate proceedings. It’s up to the beneficiaries to file claims for any debts owed to them. State and federal taxes are paid from the estate. The title to the decedent’s property is cleared so that the property can be passed on to the beneficiaries or sold.
What Type of Assets Aren’t Subject to Probate?
Assets jointly held or held with a right of survivorship (ownership is transferred once someone passes away) are not subject to probate. Estates with assets valued below $100,000 and no real property can also avoid probate, depending on the complexity of the assets owned. Lastly, retirement accounts with beneficiary designations and life insurance policies are not subject to probate.
When Will Our Family Receive Property or Assets?
The probate court won’t allow the final distribution of property and assets until all debts have been paid, including court fees, estate taxes, and other debts. The dispersal timeline is dependent on many factors.
When Can I Sell the House from an Estate?
If an estate contains property, it cannot be sold until probate is opened and an executor is appointed.
How Much Do Attorneys Charge for Probate Cases?
Legal fees will vary depending on the firm and the complexity of the estate. Attorneys often charge an hourly rate for the time spent on a case. Please contact Evergreen Elder Law to inquire about our rates.
Why Should You Make Estate Planning Your Top Priority?
- You can expose yourself, your family, and your assets to the lengthy and costly probate process and otherwise avoidable death taxes. Minor children may not end up with the guardians you want.
- Without naming a legal guardian in your Estate Plan, friends and family could battle out custody in court. This can create unnecessary expenses and litigation for your estate and heirs.
- If you don’t plan for the possibility of incapacity, you will have no say in who makes medical and financial decisions for you. The court will be forced to appoint a guardian, not of your choosing. This process can be very expensive and time-consuming.
Contact a Coeur d’Alene Probate Lawyer Today
Contact our experienced and knowledgeable staff to avoid these serious mistakes. We can guide you each step of the way. Set up a free consultation so we can apply our expertise and get a comprehensive plan in place.