Heirs who are waiting for an inheritance payout are required to wait until the estate is settled in probate court before they can collect their share. While this procedure is universal for distributing inheritances, the probate court process is almost always complicated and full of delays.
Luckily, you can skip the court proceedings entirely and get your rightful inheritance immediately! At IFC, we’ll help you learn about what happens when you go to probate court and how to avoid the process altogether so you can get cash when you need it.
What Is Probate Court?
Probate Court Definition: Probate court is a specialized part of the judicial system dealing with wills and estates. Its primary purpose is to ensure a deceased person’s debts are paid and assets are appropriately allocated.
When you go through probate court to receive your inheritance, the court appoints an executor or administrator to represent the estate in question. This individual’s primary responsibility is to oversee the distribution of the estate to the proper beneficiaries, among other legal duties. A probate lawyer will almost always assist in these tasks as well.
The probate process undergoes many delays and can take anywhere from months to years to complete. Unfortunately, heirs usually can’t gain access to their inheritance until probate proceedings conclude.
How Does Probate Court Work?
The probate process begins when someone files a petition for probate in the state’s probate court. A family member or a person designated in the descendent’s will typically files this petition.
The probate court then appoints an executor or personal representative to manage the estate during probate, which involves notifying creditors and beneficiaries, filing court documents and performing other administrative tasks.
Probate Court With a Will
If the descendent left a will, the probate court first determines whether the will is valid. The court must verify that the descendent was mentally capable of creating the will, no fraud or outside influence was involved when it was written and the will was properly signed.
If the court concludes the will is invalid or someone contests the will’s validity, the court decides how the estate proceeds. If the court determines the will is valid, the estate’s assets are distributed according to the will.
Probate Court Without a Will
In cases where the descendent doesn’t leave a will, the probate court distributes assets to the next of kin, or closest living blood relatives. The part of probate law known as the law of intestate succession outlines how funds should be allocated among spouses, parents, grandchildren, siblings, uncles and aunts.
Can You Avoid Probate Court? Maybe!
Avoiding Probate Court
Probate court may not be necessary in a few specific circumstances, such as:
- Joint ownership of assets: If the descendent owned property or assets jointly with a spouse or child, those assets automatically pass to the co-owners, eliminating the need for probate.
- Revocable living trust: If the descendent had assets in a revocable living trust, those assets automatically transfer to beneficiaries per the terms of the trust and are not subject to probate.
- Financial assets with beneficiaries: If the descendent had annuities, retirement accounts or insurance policies with designated beneficiaries, those assets automatically pass to those beneficiaries and do not become part of the probate estate.
- Small estates: If the estate is valued under a certain amount, you may be able to claim assets with just a court-approved affidavit.
Can I Get My Inheritance Money Before Probate Ends?
Yes, you can get your inheritance long before probate ends, and we’re here to make it happen. At IFC, we understand that after the passing of a loved one, the inheritance process can be frustrating and extensive. We believe you should be able to access the money that’s rightfully yours without the struggle of going through probate. That’s why we make securing your inheritance as quick and easy as possible.
We start with a free consultation where you tell us how much money you’d like to receive upfront. Then, we guide you through some simple paperwork before sending you a portion of your inheritance within the same day. Once the court proceedings are over, the estate will pay us directly out of your share and you will receive the remainder of your inheritance. It’s that simple!
Get Your Probate Cash Advance at Inheritance Funding Today
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