Merrimack, NH asked in Probate for New Hampshire

Q: father died me+2 sibling beneficiaries assets in trust lawyer wants probate1 sister agrees 2 don't is probate necessary

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1 Lawyer Answer
Kenneth V Zichi
Kenneth V Zichi
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Fowlerville, MI

A: This isn't really a matter of 'opinion' ... if there are assets that are in your father's name alone at the time he died, then probate is necessary. If a LAWSUIT in which the estate had an interest is ripe (wrongful death, etc.) then probate is necessary.

If there are absolutely NO assets in your dad's name or in the Estate's control, then probate is not necessary. You don't go into the specific facts needed to judge for sure, but I'd ask the attorney WHAT asset needs to be probated and why? Please appreciate that even if there is a trust, there will need to be 'trust administration' to distribute the assets, and that can take as long and cost as much as probate, so maybe that is what is going on and you're not understanding the procedures exactly?

Talk to the attorney and get him to explain what he is saying is necessary. Perhaps it ISN'T probate per se, but that does not mean NO procedure is necessary! This is one of the things the 'one trick ponies' never explain: Trust administration after death can be as expensive and take as long as probate does. Because you 'avoid' probate does not necessarily mean 'it is over' quick and easy. Talk to the attorney, and get your own representation if that discussion is not helpful to you.

-- This answer is offered for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice or create an attorney/client relationship.

I am licensed to practice in Michigan only. Please seek competent local legal help if you feel you need legal advice

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