The probate process is the legal procedure which protects heirs or beneficiaries and creditors by ensuring the orderly transfer of property when someone dies.

If someone has died and had property which was solely in his or her name without a beneficiary designation, it is necessary to have the probate court decide who should have the right to that property. The individuals who share in the distribution of property are determined by a valid will, if there is a valid will, and it has been presented to the court in a timely fashion. If there is no will, the determination will be made pursuant to state law. The probate court is designed to ensure the proper and orderly distribution of property and payment of valid debts.

Dean Law Office, LLC can assist you with this court process including deciding whether probate is necessary, whether you need the court to supervise the administration of the estate, and whether there is an expedited process that can be used to distribute assets.


Is Probate Necessary

If all assets of the deceased person passed by means of a trust, were jointly titled, passed by a beneficiary deed or other beneficiary designation (i.e., payable on death, transfer on death) you may not need probate. Read More


Should I Open A Probate Estate

No one is legally obligated to open a probate estate. This is true despite what the deceased person’s creditors may tell you. Read More


Supervised Administration

In a supervised estate, the court monitors the actions of the personal representative. The personal representative will need court approval to sell real estate and take other actions. Read More


Independent Administration

In an independently administered estate, the administrator is given greater leeway in disposing of assets. Read More


Small Estate Affidavit

If the assets of a person who has died are less than $40,000.00, it may be possible to wrap up final affairs by hiring an attorney to file a small estate affidavit. Read More


Petition To Determine Heirship

If more than one year has gone by since the decedent died and no administration has been commenced, Dean Law Office LLC can file a petition to determine heirship on your behalf. Read More


Application for Refusal of Letters

If the equity in the deceased person’s assets is less than is allowed for maintenance and support of the surviving spouse and/or unmarried minor child for one year. Read More


Legal Help.

After someone dies, the first legal step to take is to determine if there is a valid will. Read More


Life Insurance

If the beneficiary of the life insurance is the estate of the decedent, an estate needs to be opened. Read More


Will Or Trust Challenges

A will or trust can be challenged in some cases. A will or trust cannot be challenged on the grounds that it is unfair or a person is unhappy he or she did not receive some assets or distribution. Read More


Elder Law

Elder law refers to a legal practice that emphasizes wills, trusts, estate planning, probate, trust administration, Medicaid planing, guardianships and conservatorships. Read More

Call Margaret Dean at 816-753-3100 or email