Distributing assets after a death can be complex

Trust Elder Law at Ahrens DeAngeli Law Group to handle your probate process.

When a person dies, one question that needs to be addressed is where the assets belonging to the deceased go.  Sometimes there is a person who can legally claim assets without further ado, such as the beneficiary named on a life insurance policy or the person named in a “payable on death” designation on a bank account.  However, when there is no automatic mechanism in place to transfer title of assets to the recipient, a court can authorize someone (usually called an executor or personal representative) to claim those assets and distribute them where they need to go.  This court process is called probate.

Because probate is the process of transferring title of assets that were titled in the name of the decedent to someone else, probate can often be avoided if the decedent had no outstanding debts and if all assets are titled in a way that probate becomes unnecessary.  Some people arrange for this by titling their assets in a revocable trust so that the assets are not titled in the deceased person’s name at death.

Even if probate is necessary, Idahoans should give thanks they live in the state they do.  Unlike some other states (cough, cough California), the probate process in Idaho for most estates is relatively straightforward.  It usually involves collecting and protecting the assets of the estate, settling known debts, making sure there aren’t other creditors who can file claims, distributing the assets to the beneficiaries and closing the estate.

Although most probates are straightforward and simple, sometimes they become complicated, especially when there are disagreements about issues that come up or when they involve more complicated assets, such as operating businesses.  We handle these more complex probates every day and are ready to fight to protect our clients’ interests.

At Ahrens DeAngeli Law Group, our attorneys have well over 120 years of combined experience dealing with probate issues. Please contact our office with questions or more information about working with us on your probate matters.

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