Probate is the process of administering a decedent’s estate through court. When someone passes away, their estate may or may not require court. A decedent can pass away with a will (Testate) or without a will (Intestate). If a decedent passes away with a will the will appoints someone to serve as the executor of the estate. The executor will be required to represent the estate through the probate process and address all of the issues involved in administering the estate. The executor must determine if probate is appropriate and, if so, must petition to admit the will to open a probate estate. It is then the executor’s job to secure and manage the decedent’s assets during the probate process. If the decedent has outstanding debts or taxes, some of their assets may be sold to pay them back. Finally, the remainder of the decedent’s assets are divided among the heirs in accordance with the decedent's will.
Probate can be expensive and take years to resolve. Family disputes can make the process take even longer. Our lawyers will ensure your loved one’s wishes are carried out and help you and your family navigate the complex probate process.
A legal guardian is a person who has been appointed by a court or otherwise has the legal authority to make decisions relevant to the personal and property interests of another person who is deemed incompetent or is a minor, called a Ward. Two common types of Guardianships include Guardian of the Person and Guardian of the Estate.
Guardianship of the Person is a type of guardian who is responsible for taking care of a ward’s ongoing personal needs, which includes making decisions about their medical care, living arrangements, and any necessary professional services for the ward. The Court may require a guardian of the person to file periodic or annual reports detailing the ward’s status and condition.
Guardianship of the Estate is a type of guardian who has the authority to manage the ward’s personal property, assets, and financial affairs. A Guardian of the Estate is responsible for receiving income, paying bills and taxes, and receiving public benefits such as Social Security disability on behalf of the ward. All of the ward's financial affairs must be regularly accounted for and filed with the court.