What Is the Difference Between Intestate and Probate?

When you pass away without a will, you are said to have died intestate. This means there is no documented plan for what will happen to your assets. In these cases each state has specific rules about who will receive your assets and how those will be divided. This is a leading reason why it’s important to set aside a time to meet with an attorney to create a will.

There’s plenty of confusion between the concepts of intestate and probate. These two ideas refer to different things. For example, intestate refers to dying without a will and what happens if the court disproves a will. If the will is not approved by the court, then the decedent could also have been said to have passed away intestate. Probate, however, is the process of verifying or proving the authenticity of a will in court and the plan for disposing of assets in the manner desired by the person who created the will. Probate will also refer to the court’s function in distributing any assets inside your estate if you pass away without a will.

The will is used to direct your personal representative on how to distribute your assets but if one does not exist then a judge will distribute your assets in a manner that is consistent with state law.

In New Hampshire, your estate will go entirely to your children if you don’t have a surviving spouse. It gets more complicated following a formula if you have both a surviving spouse and children from that or another marriage.

To avoid the mismatch of intestate succession with your existing estate plan desires set aside time to speak with an estate planning attorney in NH.  


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