If a loved one dies owning assets titled in his or her name, probate is the legal process by which these assets can be transferred to the decedent’s heirs or beneficiaries.  Probate is a court supervised process, involving the appointment of an Executor (for decedents who died with a Will) or an Administrator (for decedents who died without a Will).  The Executor or Administrator is charged with seeing that the decedent’s final affairs are wrapped up, including payment of final expenses, notice to creditors, inventory and appraisal of assets, collection of assets, preparation and filing of final income tax returns (and estate tax returns, if required), preparation and filing of documents in connection with real property owned by the Estate, preparation of accountings for the estate, filing required reports with the Court, and the ultimate transfer of assets according to the terms of the decedent’s Will or the state’s intestate succession statutes. It is sometimes also the case that that the probate of an estate can be avoided.  Carter, Dougherty & McGuire will work with you to determine whether there are alternative means of transferring title to beneficiaries, such as:

  • Small Estate Affidavit
  • Spousal Set Aside Petition
  • Heggstad Petition
  • Joint Tenancy or POD Accounts
  • Transfer of assets through insurance policies, POD accounts, IRAs or annuities

Our experienced attorneys and paralegals have decades of experience handling probates of estates of all sizes, and with alternatives to probate. We will work with you and your loved ones to provide thoughtful guidance through the oftentimes complex estate administration process.