A Summary of Estate Planning and Administration

The acquisition of accumulation of property throughout your life create what is known as your ‘estate’. When you are considering your life and the assets you have, it is important to consider what you will do with all of these things when you are no longer here to manage them yourself.

When someone passes away, his or her estate goes into probate. Probate is, essentially, the process of deciding how the estate will be distributed to the remaining relatives, heirs, or beneficiaries of the deceased. When you are considering the type of estate you have, the type of probate it falls under may be different.

Regardless of the number of assets you have, you have some form of an estate. Small estates, or estates that fall under small estate affidavits, are under $100,000. Anything over $300,000 falls into the general administration category. Estates between $100,000 and $299,999 are the middle ground, falling under summary administration.

Full probate proceedings for general administration can be lengthy and costly. Summary administration probate proceedings are an alternative meant to avoid the cost and time that the process may otherwise take. The process is, essentially, the same as the general administration path without the requirement of two processes. Summary administration does not involve notice requirements or a creditor claims period.

Notice requirements involve placing an additional petition that is sent to anyone with an interest in the estate at least 10 days prior to the hearing. The notice must also be published in the local newspaper. The process takes a considerable amount of time. The creditor claims period allows for all creditors who have an outstanding debt with the deceased to claim the debt from the remaining estate. This process takes 90 days in general administration but is only 60 days in summary administration, which again saves time.

From small estate affidavits to summary administration, there are a lot of fine steps that must be taken even though the processes are, overall, ‘easier’ than general administration. When it comes to making sure your wishes are followed after you are gone, it is important to have your affairs set in place to avoid any chaos that may ensue from family disagreements over the estate. When dealing with something so intricate and important, make sure to find the best in their field who will fight for you and make sure you have the proper path set in place. At Joey Gilbert Law, our dedicated and knowledgeable team will make sure you receive the guidance you need to complete the process and have total peace of mind.