Probate Court Matters

Probate court can be a very valuable resource for families, individuals, etc., when facing challenges involving assets, children, family members and inheritances.  Many people feel that probate court means trouble and conflict.  While that may be true in some instances, probate court is actually available to assist people, families and institutions in their efforts to satisfy asset, family and health matters.  It is certainly ideal to be proactive in the settling of will or trust, powers of attorney, and other matters, but when those matters are still open, probate court is the tool to use to properly pursue resolution.  Below is a list of some of the ways upon which probate court can be relied:

Estate Administration

When a person has died with assets remaining in his/her name without designated beneficiaries, those assets will be inaccessible until someone has been given authority to handle those assets.  The Probate Court is usually the only entity that maintains authority to give such authority to an appointed fiduciary.  The Court looks to the Last Will and Testament and/or state law to determine who should be appointed.  The Court will then hold that person accountable for the proper handling and distribution of such assets.  At times, interested parties (heirs, devisees, creditors, etc.) will find it necessary to challenge the fiduciary’s decisions and handling of such assets (including assets held in trust, separate from the Court).  The Probate Court is the proper venue for such challenges and disputes.

Guardianships and Conservatorships

Probate Court does not only deal with matters following a person’s death; it also deals with matters involving individuals needing someone to handle matters for them while they are alive.  If and incapacitated person, or example, has not properly executed valid powers of attorney, someone will likely need to pursue the probate court to seek authority to handle financial and personal/health matters of the incapacitated individual.  In such situations, only the Probate Court can provide such authority.  Such is also the case in situations involving minor children.  In the absence of a fit parent, the Court will appoint a fiduciary (guardian, conservator, payee, etc.) to act on behalf of the child.

At TGQ Law, we are very experienced in probate court litigation and we would love to assist you in your efforts.  Please contact us to schedule a time for us to chat.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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