Step-By-Step Overview of Probate
“Probate” is a legal term for the Court process of transferring assets out of a deceased person’s name and to that person’s heirs and/or beneficiaries. The difference between the term “heir” and the term “beneficiary” is that an heir is someone that would legally take if a person died without a Will.
A person’s spouse, for example, or children (if they have either a split family or pass away without a spouse). A beneficiary is a term used for the person who is legally entitled to receive assets. An heir can be a beneficiary, but sometimes a beneficiary is not an heir. For example, I could sign a Will saying that all of my assets go to charity – the charity would be a beneficiary, but not an heir.
One common misconception is that signing a Will avoids probate.
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