Rhode Island Probate Lawyer:
Probate is the process by which a deceased person's property and affairs are dealt with. Probate is necessary to pass property from the decedent to others, to satisfy any debts or obligations of the decedent, to protect the personal property of the decedent from being mishandled, misplaced, or misappropriated.
In Rhode Island, there is a Probate Court in each town (as distinguished from Massachusetts).
Because each Probate Court in Rhode Island is a municipal court, the rules of each may vary, and it is important to determine what local rules may apply. Note however that the substantive law is not different from town to town; it is the law of the State of Rhode Island.
A person who passes away without a Will is said to have passed "Intestate" while a person who passes away with a Will is said to have passed "Testate." A person who passes away with a valid Will was historically referred to as a Testator if male, or a Testatrix if female.
A valid Will in Rhode Island will name a person known as an "Executor" to handle the Probate process and manage the affairs of the decedent. An Executor (in Massachusetts called a "Personal Representative") has a great deal of responsibility, and what is called a "fiduciary duty" to the estate. The Executor is responsible for determining to whom the property of the decedent should go to, to wind up any pending legal actions in court on behalf of the decedent, and to pay the decedent's creditors, among other things.
An Estate must remain open for six months in the State of Rhode Island, which is in order to allow creditors sufficient time to file any claims that they may have against the decedent's estate.. It should be noted that closing the estate will take considerably longer.
Some property does not pass through Probate. For instance, remainder interests in real estate do not always pass through probate where the decedent held a "life estate" in the premises, life insurance does not pass through probate (because it is based upon a contract), as well as other things.
If you require assistance in Rhode Island Probate Court, call us for a free consultation. Our Rhode Island Probate Lawyers will provide you with the care and attentiveness that you should receive in your probate matter. Call now: 401-388-0412
Name Changes in Rhode Island
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