Probate Process

Wills are a crucial part of an estate plan, but these legal documents are also subject to probate. The probate process can be quite complex depending on the needs of your estate, and in this case securing skilled legal help is a must.

In business since 2003, Walk-In Wills provides New Mexico residents clear answers to their probate questions. We’ll explain how probate works and what you can do to mitigate legal issues surrounding your will. We’ll also be there to lend assistance to your family members after you’re gone if they have trouble navigating probate.

What to Expect During the Probate Process

While probate is different for every estate, there are a few things you can expect during the process:

  • Authentication of the Will: Wills must be proven valid and enforceable before probate can move forward. For instance, if someone claims that a will was made under duress, evidence to the contrary must be presented. This would be witness testimony regarding the signature of the will, or documents proving the person was in sound mind when the will was created and signed.
  • Appointment of Executor: The executor is the person responsible for carrying out the terms of the will and this person is usually listed within the will itself. The court may also appoint an executor independently if none are listed or there is no will to reference. The executor is obligated to carry out tasks with the best interest of the estate in mind.
  • Notifying Creditors: Estate debt must be paid before assets can be dispersed. This involves notifying creditors so they can make the proper steps to pursue repayment. Once any claims are made, the executor can use his or her discretion to decide whether they should be honored.
  • Paying Heirs: Once all debts are paid, heirs can be provided their share of the estate. In many cases, the executor is obligated to provide a complete listing of all estate transactions to make sure no mismanagement has occurred.

Reasons Why a Will Might Be Considered Invalid

A person must be of sound mind when creating a will, meaning they’re knowingly making decisions regarding their assets. When cognitive issues are a factor, such as senility or other mental issues, the will is often called into question. Undue influence is another concern. This refers to situations where a person believes another influenced the creation of a will, either by force or coercion.

Invalidity could also be a matter of the directives contained within a will. For example, if a person makes unreasonable demands on heirs before they can receive their inheritances, the will is likely to be thrown out. Fraudulent signatures may also be claimed when the will is being probated.

We’ll Guide You Through Probate Step by Step

Do you have probate questions? Are you concerned about the validity of a will? If so, give Walk-In Wills a call today. Our licensed attorneys are here to help you, whether you’re creating a will for the first time or an executor faced with allegations of an invalid will during probate.

Call (505) 903-7000 for more info on arranging a free hour-long consultation to discuss your estate planning needs.

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