Author: Simon Volkov

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Settling Decedents Estates Through Probate By Simon Volkov

  in Family Concerns | Published 2012-09-23 01:18:21 | 99 Reads | Unrated

Summary

Decedents makes reference to people that have passed away The term is commonly used in estate settlement proceedings pertaining to trusts and a written last will and testament

Full Content

Decedents makes reference to people that have passed away. The term is commonly used in estate settlement proceedings pertaining to trusts and a written last will and testament. Wills are needed to bequeath inheritance gifts and appoint estate agents to oversee settlement duties.



When decedents enter into estate planning methods prior to death they make things much easier for estate agents and family members. Wills are one of the most vital elements of estate planning because they provide directions pertaining to how the estate should be settled and who is entitle
d to the property and personal belongings.



People die every day without having a Will. Their estate is referred to as 'intestate' and has to be settled in accordance with probate law. When a person leaves a Will they can gift their property to anyone they desire and decide who will settle their estate. Without one, an estate agent has to be confirmed through probate court and property is given to direct lineage heirs.



The probate process is standard protocol for settling all estates that are not safeguarded by a trust. On average, estate settlement proceedings take 4 to 6 months to complete. A lot depends on the size of the estate; types of estate planning strategies established; and court caseload.



Settling probated estates can be unsettling; especially when relatives don't get along well or enter into disputes over inheritance. While there are strategies to avoid probate, there aren't any ironclad solutions to prevent relatives from acting out. This can be problematic for estate agents, so if substantial family discord exists it might be beneficial to hire a lawyer to settle the estate.



When designating a family member to the position of estate agent, it's a good idea to talk to them about it first. The added duties might be too much for the person you would like to appoint. Or, they might not feel comfortable with the required responsibilities. If an agent later decides they do not want to perform duties it can delay the probate process while another agent is chosen.



One preventative measure is to appoint two estate agents. That way, if the first person cannot fulfill duties, the second person can quickly take over.



Estate agents have to perform a variety of duties on behalf of decedents. This includes recording the Will through probate court; sending out creditor notices; contacting government entities like Veterans Administration and Medicare; taking care of all accounting associated with paying decedents' debts, filing a tax return, and transferring property to heirs.



The process can be quite time-consuming, especially when multiple assets are involved. With that being said, agents do receive monetary compensation for work performed. Oftentimes, relatives feel awkward accepting money, but before passing up compensation consider how many hours of time will be spent closing the estate.



If claims are filed against the estate or if heirs contest the validity of the Will, probate could drag on for months. There are instances when estate agents are forced to sell inheritance property just to cover legal defense fees of a contested Will.



Unfortunately, decedents no longer have control over what takes place once they're gone, but they can take control over what happens to their belongings by establishing estate planning methods while still alive. Taking time to write a Will is by far the greatest gift anyone can provide to their family.



Estate planning can help decedents rest in peace knowing their assets will be passed along to loved ones and that agents will know exactly how to settle their estate. Departing without setting up a Will or trust makes the estate vulnerable to probate laws and leaves a mess for relatives to clean up.

California probate liquidator, Simon Volkov, shares additional information about estate planning and probate to help people learn how to protect assets. His vast article library offers tips for settling decedents' estates, along with ways to avoid probate at www.SimonVolkov.com.

California probate liquidator, Simon Volkov, shares additional information about estate planning and probate to help people learn how to protect assets. His vast article library offers tips for settling decedents' estates, along with ways to avoid probate at http://www.SimonVolkov.com.

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About the Author

California real estate investor, Simon Volkov, provides information and resources about Making Home Affordable programs, foreclosure alternatives and how to short sale real estate via his website. Simon's comprehensive real estate article library offers up-to-date information to help borrowers make informed choices. Learn more by visiting www.SimonVolkov.com.