Probate has somewhat undeservingly developed a negative reputation from some over the years. Certain people who have gone through the probate process may negatively talk about the cost or time required to probate an estate. However, for the probate process to work properly, there are certain requirements that must be met in order for an estate to be probated. These requirements allow the court to properly oversee the probate process which benefits both the personal representative and the beneficiaries of the estate. If you have any questions regarding probating an estate in the middle Tennessee area, contact our Nashville probate lawyers.
There are a number of benefits of probating an estate. The main benefit in probating an estate is the court’s oversight of the transfer of any assets owned solely in the name of the decedent. Certain entities like banks or other financial institutions will not allow for the transfer of assets without an order from the probate court. When the probate court issues an order, this signifies that the court has given oversight to the last will and testament or the next of kin to transfer the estate’s assets. This oversight enables a bank or other institution to then transfer the assets without any fear of transferring to the wrong party. In other words, the court is able to verify who should receive what assets according to the will or laws of intestacy.
Probate ensures that the transfer of assets is done in an open and orderly manner. Without a court overseen process, assets could be transferred to the wrong person or they could be transferred in the incorrect amount. In addition, a person could claim to have distributed all of the assets without actually having some way to verify that fact. The probate court allocates authority to the personal representative (person nominated executor in the will or appointed administrator) to pay off any debts that the decedent may have had and to distribute any remaining assets within the estate. The court requires that the personal representative complete certain requirements to ensure that the proper steps have been taken.
Similarly, another benefit of probating an estate is the fact that the title or ownership of the property will not be questioned. If a car or valuable heirloom has been transferred through probate, the chain of ownership title will be clear without the ownership issues that a cash sale may provide. The probate process provides a record of the transfer of assets and thereby documents a clear chain of title.
In addition, the probate process provides a venue for the handling of any disputes within the estate. If there are disputes between any beneficiaries or as to the validity of the will, the probate court will supervise and make a final determination on the issue. Without the finality of a ruling from the probate court, disagreements over the assets within an estate could easily tear a family apart.
If you have questions as to whether the probate process would be beneficial in your situation, contact the Nashville probate lawyers at The Higgins Firm. A member of our probate team would be happy to answer your questions.