Probate is the legal process to determine the validity of a will and resolve and disputes over a will. Learn more here in the articles, columns, blog posts, radio shows and videos about the probate process.
What to know about transferring property to beneficiaries. This reader wants to know if it’s better to transfer the title or go through probate. Q: I’ve enjoyed reading your recent article in our local newspaper on the differences between using a will and a quitclaim deed in order to pass property to heirs or family [...]
Are transfer on death (TOD) deeds smart? This reader wants to know if it’s a safe way to avoid costly probate for children after their death. Q: I am thinking of doing a transfer upon death (TOD) deed to avoid costly probate for my children. Is this wise and safe to do? Would my heirs [...]
We recently received a letter in response to one of our readers who wondered whether the timeshare owned by a parent would become the reader’s responsibility after the parent’s death. This is what this person wrote (The letter has been edited for clarity and space). Q: You recently ran an article from a reader who [...]
What happens when your parents die and you discover an unpaid home equity loan with an extremely high interest rate? This person inherited a house, which is in probate, but also discovered what looks like a 30-year home equity loan that carries such a high interest rate that the loan balance is never paid down. [...]
How does probate work without a will? The purpose of probate is to distribute assets and debt, if there is no will, the estate may not need to go through it. Q: What happens, if a person passes away and no one files probate because the estate has no assets? Do any of the deceased [...]
A Florida homeowner asks how to avoid probate for her estate. She wants to leave her condo to her son but does not want him to pay probate costs. Can she set up a transfer on death deed so that her son avoids probate? Probate laws vary by state and so she should consult an estate attorney to better understand Florida probate laws.
A woman tries to reclaim assets after her father's death. Before dying he lived with his mother and gave her power of attorney to handle his affairs. The woman says her grandmother passed on a car and house when the father left them to her (his daughter). What can the woman do to get the car and the house back? What rights did the power of attorney give to the grandmother?
A mother-in-law passed away and her son and his wife took over the mortgage payments including mortgage interest. Can they deduct mortgage interest on their taxes even though their names are not on the mortgage? Yes, because they will use the property as a primary residence. Consult the IRS web site for more information on mortgage interest tax deductions.
How does the recording of a quit claim deed affect an inheritance? An Ohio family may own a West Virginia property received by an unrecorded quit claim deed. If the quit claim deed is valid, title of the inherited property may have transferred when the deed was delivered. If the quit claim deed is invalid, the probate court for the former owner of the property would decide who the new rightful owner of the property is.
When someone dies, who inherits the contents of the estate? Does it go to the person's spouse or children, or both? It depends on the state where the deceased lives and whether that person had a will. To ensure that your estate planning wishes get executed make sure to have a valid will.