If your loved one left a will, it must pass through probate before the estate is distributed to the beneficiaries. A lot happens during this court-controlled process, from validating the will and appraising estate assets to clearing outstanding dues such as taxes or debts.
Ideally, it should be a smooth process, but it’s not always the case. Challenges may arise along the way. For example, the executor could misappropriate estate funds or delay the process to serve their interests. Therefore, it helps to know what you can do to protect your inheritance during probate.
Get involved in the process
Do not sit back and assume everything will proceed as planned. Instead, take a proactive role and immerse yourself in the process. Attend all court hearings, communicate with other beneficiaries, keep good records and ensure you are aware of all that’s happening regarding the estate.
It will be easier to notice if anything is amiss and gather relevant evidence if you are involved in the probate process than when you take a back seat.
Take appropriate action
Knowing the steps to take if you notice any red flags during probate is equally crucial. The right response at the right time could save you a lot of trouble.
For instance, you should inform the probate court of any wrongdoing by the executor as soon as possible to prevent further losses. You may also take legal action against the executor to recover what belongs to the estate.
Have adequate legal representation
You may not fully understand how probate works and what to expect during this process. As such, it is advisable to seek legal counsel to help address any of your concerns or questions and ensure you know your rights. It could go a long way in safeguarding your inheritance.