Everyone has an estate. Your estate consists of everything you own – car, home (other real estate), checking and savings accounts, furniture and personal possessions. If you want to control how your possessions are given to the people and/or organizations you care about most, you need to provide instructions that state whom you want to receive something of yours, what you want them to receive, and when you want them to receive the property. Making a plan in advance and naming whom you want to receive the things you own after you die is the core of estate planning.
At P5 Legal, we take the time to learn what you want in your plan and then make sure you understand the fundamentals of how the plan operates.
Probate is the legal process that takes place after someone dies. It includes:
proving in court that a deceased person's will is valid (usually a routine matter)
identifying and inventorying the deceased person's property
having the property appraised
paying debts and taxes, and
distributing the remaining property as the will (or state law, if there's no will) directs.
Not all of an estate is considered to be part of a probate estate. For example, property held in trust, property with a named beneficiary eg. a checking account is not considered probate property or a probate asset.
At P5 Legal we guide personal representatives through all steps of the probate process.