Frequently Asked Questions
We've put together a list of our most frequently asked questions here. If you have a question that isn't answered, please let us know!
If you have a Last Will and Testament, that means your estate will not have to go through probate, right?
Why is probate even necessary?
What is a Personal Representative or Executor?
How long does probate take?
Will I be responsible for my parents’ debts after they pass away?
No. You will not be personally responsible to pay anything that you did not guarantee. However, your parents’ estate may be responsible for paying their debts, and there is a legal process in place for handling those. You should not engage paying your parent’s debts after they pass away until you have met with an experienced attorney.
My spouse and I own our home together, and both of our names are on the deed, so if one of us dies, the other will get the house, right?
Is there any way to avoid probate?
What is a guardianship?
A guardian is someone who has been appointed by the court to oversee the care and custody of a minor or an adult who has been legally determined to be incapacitated.
What is a conservatorship?
A conservator is a person or a fiduciary, appointed by a court to manage the property of a minor or an adult who has been legally determined to be incapacitate.
What are the alternatives to guardianships and/or conservatorships?
There are several less restrictive alternatives to guardianship, including trusts, durable powers of attorney, and health-care powers of attorney. However, these documents must be executed before the individual is incapable of doing so due to mental incapacity. That’s why proper planning is so important; by the time a loved one reaches the point of incapacity, it’s too late to get things in order without court intervention.
How is the guardianship/conservatorship terminated?
Guardianship and conservatorship for a minor terminate on the minor’s 18th birthday. In the case of a conservatorship for a minor, the conservator prepares and files with the court a final accounting of the administration of the estate. Upon the court’s approval of the final accounting, the conservator transfers the estate to the former ward and, upon filing a final receipt with the court, the conservator is discharged by the court from any further responsibility.
On the other hand, guardianship and conservatorship for an incapacitated person terminate only when the ward is found to be competent by the court or upon the death of the ward. When either of these two events occurs, the conservator prepares a final accounting for the court and the conservator and guardian are discharged in much the same manner as with the termination of a minor’s estate. In some cases when the estate of the ward has been completely exhausted, the conservator may be discharged by the court upon filing a final accounting, but the duties of the guardian will continue until such time as the ward is found to be competent by the court or dies.
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