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Interstate Probate: What Happens if a Person Passes Away Without a Will?

A probate lawyer will be beneficial in helping to explain the interstate probate process. Essentially, Interstate Probate is when a loved one passes away without a will in place. Family members of the person who has died greatly benefit when a will is in place as it gives them guidance for how to divide assets. The process becomes completely different when a will does not exist, and is considered to be Interstate. The state will most likely become involved to determine how assets should be divided to beneficiaries. In some situations, an executor or estate administrator may be appointed.

What is Probate?

Probate at times, can be a complex process however, sometimes, it can be simplified. There are a number of factors that will determine this, primarily, whether or not your loved one has a will in place. Probate must be filed regardless of which scenario is applicable. Prior to a hearing, there will be a 2 week waiting period. The courts will look to determine whether or not the will is valid during the timeframe.

The Two Week Wait

Notice that the application has been filed at probate will be posted by a county clerk for a two week period prior to the court hearing. Anyone who would like to contest the will or estate is notified that they may do so at this time. There will be a specific number of days that a person can file should they choose to contest the will. The court will move forward in the administration of assets and validating the will if a person fails to contest the will within the appropriate time frame.  

The Hearing

The court will carry out the hearing following the two week waiting period. During this time an executor or administrator will be appointed by the courts or, a judge may choose to distribute assets and properties themselves. There are two different ways that property is distributed and divided:

  • Community Property is when property is gained from marriage. Unless there are children involved, property will be given to the spouse. The Spouse and children will split property equally if both are beneficiaries of the will.  
  • Separate Property is when property was inherited during marriage or there were assets or property owned before the marriage. All separate property will be inherited by the spouse if there are no children involved.

Contacting a skilled probate attorney O’Fallon MO recommends who understands the process for more information will be beneficial.

 


Thanks to our friends and contributors from Legacy Law Center for their insight into probate law.