A group of national experts drafted and reviewed a set of model laws known as the Uniform Probate Code (UPC). UPC state specifically covers Trusts, wills, and estate-related issues. The UPC was developed to streamline estate and probate administration generally easier and sive.
To standardize estate administration across state lines and make the process as straightforward as possible for those involved. Several states have adopted the UPC.
The Uniform Probate Code is for which states?
Only a few states have fully enacted the UPC. Even though it was initially for adoption in all 50 states. Different UPC provisions are there in the laws of other states.
Currently, 18 states—Alaska, Arizona, Colorado, Florida, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nebraska, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, and Utah—have adopted the full version of the UPC.
In these states, the UPC covers all facets of estate administration and probate, including subjects like:
- A will’s determination;
- The duties of an executor of an estate; and
- The procedure for handling an estate.
How Important Is the UPC State?
The UPC provides precise information and instructions regarding the different types of probate and a surviving spouse’s rights. There are three varieties of probate according to the UPC:
Most of the time, informal probate falls under this first category in states that have ratified the UPC. This kind of probate is particularly prevalent when a decedent leaves a will behind, and all of the heirs are on the same page and get along. This process has no court hearings; it is essentially all paperwork.
Although informal probate is the most straightforward type available, some requirements include giving written notice to heirs, beneficiaries, and creditors. But if anyone wants, they can make Informal probate not to use, though if someone wants to challenge the process.
What does a Probate Lawyer do?
A probate lawyer is in charge of many different things. Probate lawyers help clients design their last will or estate plans and walk them through the process. They might also give beneficiaries advice about various probate-related matters. Additionally, a probate attorney can handle the following issues:
Figuring out any estate tax liabilities and contributing to their payment.
Assisting with the sale of any estate assets.
Transferring property to beneficiaries.
Facilitating the valuation of the deceased’s property.
Formal Probate Without a Guardian
Unsupervised Formal Probate in UPC states is a customary court procedure resembling probate in other states. However, it takes a long time and costs more money than informal ones. This is primarily due to the high likelihood of conflicts between family members or creditors.
Someone must serve as the estate’s representative (or executor), just like in probate cases in states that do not recognize the UPC. The interested parties must also receive a notice (including beneficiaries under the will and any creditors that may be owed money). Hearings are frequently held to ascertain who is interested. If the will does not specify the distribution, the estate representative must obtain the court’s approval before selling or distributing the estate’s assets.
Probate under supervision
Only when the court determines it to be necessary will it supervise formal probate use. This procedure is typically required because a beneficiary may not be able to protect their interests. For example, the beneficiary may be minor or mentally incapacitated.
Similar to unsupervised formal probate, supervised formal ones follow a similar procedure. In addition, however, the court may order the estate’s representative to take all necessary steps to protect its assets. And also ensure that they reach the appropriate recipients.
In some circumstances, the court may physically examine the estate’s assets or order the representative to submit regular accountings of the assets’ use or distribution. In addition, the court can request that the executor of the estate obtain court authorization before distributing any property, just like unsupervised formal probate.
The UPC states the rights of surviving spouses.
The UPC also puts down the surviving spouse’s rights following an intestate death (which means they died without having a will in place).
If a spouse passes away intestate, division of the asset will take place as follows:
The surviving spouse would inherit the entire estate if the deceased spouse had no parents, children, or grandchildren;
- The surviving spouse receives the first $50,000 of the estate if a parent of the deceased spouse is still alive, and the remaining estate is divided among the parent(s) of the deceased spouse; and
- The surviving spouse receives the first $50,000 of the estate if a child or grandchild of the deceased spouse survives, and the remaining estate is divided equally between the surviving children or grandchildren.
If I live in a UPC state, do I need an attorney to draught my will?
Even if your state has ratified the UPC, you must make arrangements for your surviving family members. If you don’t have a will, the probate process will decide what happens to your family. The best way to ensure that your estate is properly handled and that your last wishes are carried out is to have a carefully drafted and properly executed will.
You should speak with a local, skilled probate attorney if you value your interests and the interests of your beneficiaries and heirs. Create a plan with the assistance of your attorney. With the assistance of your lawyer, you can create a strong will to safeguard your estate.
In general, a probate lawyer aids in the resolution of disputes involving asset management and estate planning. As a lawyer, you can assist families in making funeral plans if a loved one passes away. A career as a probate attorney can be very rewarding but requires years of education.