Uniform Probate Code
There is a set of probate codes of laws on all issues related to the Will and estates. The code, created to simplify the probate process and standardize the rules regarding wills, trusts, and intestacy, is Uniform Probate Code. This code also addresses gifts. The Uniform probate code is a significant part of estate planning. Any lawyer working with the probate process should know the laws that could affect the estate under study.
Why should probate lawyers follow the Uniform Probate Code?
As per the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL), the Uniform Probate Code was drafted and created to control the processes behind the inheritance and estate administration in states that opted in. All the probate lawyers follow the Act for multiple reasons, which include the following-
- The UPC is meant to reduce inefficiencies in the probate process.
- It also ensures that the codes are standardized and meet modern probate requirements.
- This code covers the complete probate process and various state laws governing wills, trusts, and intestacy (these are the deaths without a choice).
Why does the probate attorney follow only one Uniform Probate code?
The UPC is not mandatory. For example, let’s take the example of the singer Prince. He died without a will, which led to a conflict of law and a delay in administrating his estate. Article III of UPC contains the provisions that guide supervised and unsupervised administration of probate. However, things might have been easier if he had passed away in a UPC state.
The court designs UPC to make things easier through standardization and modernization of the probate procedure. The unsupervised administration cast aside the probate lawyers, bonding companies, or two prominent opponents. Some states, like California, tend to choose their probate process for some reasons.
The states that use the Uniform Probate code
Every state does not have its probate provisions and has adopted the Uniform Probate Code, with the provisions enacted varying from state to state. The states that have adopted the Uniform Probate Code are Nebraska, Alaska, Minnesota, North Dakota, South Carolina, South Dakota, Idaho, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah, Florida, Maine, Hawaii, Montana, Massachusetts, Arizona, New Jersey, and Michigan. The remaining states who did not adopt the UPC only enacted parts of the UPC.
There are three kinds of probate that UPS states offer, and they are informal, supervised, formal, and supervised formal. UPC states vary from one to another. However, if the state has adopted the UPC, it can still modify the code in the way they want.
Probate process that the probate lawyer follows using the UPC
In each state, the probate process may differ slightly. However, the general procedure behind these processes using Uniform Probate Code is the same. In short, the process includes the following-
- To start the probate procedure. Firstly, you need to get the permission of the probate court to serve as the estate’s representative. One needs to register, probate, and apply.
- Administration of the estate. The court sends notice to the beneficiaries regarding the administration of the estate.
- Distribution of the property. The court confirms the estate to pay the expenses after the creditors file their claims. After that, there is a settlement of the probate.
What happens if there is no use of UPC?
- The personal representative will file a separate document in every county. Here the decedent owns the real estate if he/she does not use the code.
- The personal representative will notify the court in every county. Here the decedent owns the real estate of all the transferable property.
- There is a requirement for payment for recording and each document.
- There is a doubling of probate costs, once at the state level and another at the local level.
The Uniform Probate code is very useful; most states have accepted and adopted it in the probate process. If the probate lawyer uses the Uniform probate code, there is no need for the client to file separate court documents in every country. One can use UPC when the beneficiary wants to transfer real estate, motor vehicles, or other valuable property. So one should follow UPC if the estate’s personal representative needs to transfer any property in an informal probate proceeding.