Rhode Island Probate | Rhode Island Inheritance Advances
Is Probate Required in Rhode Island?
Probate is required in Rhode Island for most estates, though some estates may be able to avoid it depending on the estate’s value, the will and a few other factors. Several assets almost always must enter probate, including:
- Real estate
- Assets with tenants in common
- Assets owned solely by the decedent
- Assets without a named beneficiary
Heirs can avoid probate if the decedent takes a few actions, such as:
- Making a revocable living trust: If a decedent places their assets in a trust, their assets can bypass the probate process. The trust goes directly to the named beneficiaries after the decedent’s passing.
- Creating joint tenancy accounts: Assets held in joint tenancy can avoid probate. Real estate, bank accounts and other assets will transfer to the joint owner.
- Naming beneficiaries: When a decedent names beneficiaries on all their accounts and policies, those assets can go right to the beneficiaries instead of getting caught up in probate. Life insurance, retirement accounts and a few other assets can have beneficiaries.
- Creating assets as payable-on-death: An asset with a payable- or transferable-on-death provision will go to the named beneficiary. No probate will be necessary to transfer the assets.
Process of Probate in Rhode Island
The probate process serves a vital purpose in Rhode Island. When a Rhode Island resident dies, the state probate courts oversee the distribution of all assets and belongings left behind. The court appoints a representative to control the estate, collect and itemize all assets and monetary accounts, ensure all outstanding debts are paid off and validate any existing wills. Finally, when the court recognizes that all other steps have been completed, they authorize the distribution of inheritance funds to the rightful heirs.
How Long Do You Have to File Probate After Death in Rhode Island?
Rhode Island has one of the nation’s shortest timeframes where heirs can submit a will to probate. Probate must be filed in court within 30 days of the heir being notified of the person’s death. Claiming estate assets without filing for probate may result in a contempt of court charge and possible jail time.
Is Probate Necessary Without a Will?
Any Rhode Island estate larger than $15,000 is subject to probate regardless of whether the deceased had a will.
The probate process verifies who will control and inherit assets from the estate. The estate should go to the closest relatives according to Rhode Island’s intestate succession laws. Here’s what you need to know about inheritances when there is no will:
- Surviving children will receive half of the personal property, and the surviving spouse will inherit the second half.
- Surviving children will split the entire estate if there is no surviving spouse.
- A surviving spouse without surviving children will inherit a maximum of $75,000 in real estate and lifelong rights to use the real estate. The spouse will also receive $50,000 in personal property.
Delays to Your Inheritance in Rhode Island
The Rhode Island probate process can take an extremely long time from start to finish. Heirs are not able to access the money their loved ones wanted them to have until after probate. Furthermore, the average estate in the United States takes a year and a half to complete — a shocking fact to many Rhode Island heirs new to the process. Finding a way to expedite the probate process can alleviate a great deal of frustration after a loved one passes away.
Inheritance Tax in Rhode Island
Rhode Island does not charge an inheritance tax. However, the wealthiest estates may be subject to a state or federal estate tax. Rhode Island’s maximum estate tax rate is 16%, whereas the federal estate tax rate caps at 40%. The executor must pay estate taxes before distributing inheritances to heirs.
Access Your Inheritance in Rhode Island Immediately
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Let our friendly staff give you a free, obligation-free consultation. We’re more than happy to walk you through the Rhode Island probate process and answer all of your questions. There are no hidden fees, no monthly payments, and limited credit or income restrictions. There’s no need to wait years for what’s yours — contact us today and access your money right away.
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