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Wyoming based probate lawyer

Wyoming Probate Attorney

Whether you're navigating estate administration as a personal representative or ensuring beneficiaries' rights, rely on our expertise to guide you through the probate process. From asset distribution to resolving complex legal matters, our dedicated team is committed to protecting your interests and achieving optimal outcomes.


Understanding Probate in Wyoming

Probate is the legal process through which the assets and estate of a deceased individual are administered and distributed. Validating the deceased individual’s will, managing estate accounts, and distributing property to the rightful beneficiaries are typical steps in the probate process.  Probate may pose challenges requiring court oversight and compliance with jurisdiction specific laws and procedures.

The team at the Law Office of Josh Krieg is committed to assisting individuals through every stage of the probate process. We have helped personal representatives, beneficiaries, and creditors through all phases of the probate process. We understand the complexities involved in probate matters and are here to offer personalized assistance to ensure that your needs are met.

Wyoming Estate Administration

Common procedures during the estate administration process include the validation of the decedent’s will, if one exists, and the assessment and distribution of assets. After settling any outstanding debts and obligations, the remaining assets are given to the heirs or beneficiaries according to the instructions in the will. If decedent did not have a will, the asset allocation will be determined by intestacy laws of the state where the decedent resided.

It’s important to note that not all estates and assets are subject to probate proceedings. The necessity of probate depends on several factors, with the type and value of assets being the most significant. Assets held jointly with rights of survivorship or designated beneficiaries, such as life insurance polices or retirement accounts, usually transfer directly to the designated recipients, bypassing probate. Real estate, bank accounts, and personal property owned by the decedent typically require probate to transfer the asset.

It’s common for individuals to own property in multiple states upon their passing. Managing estate assets scattered across different states can present probate issues and complexities, requiring the appointed personal representative to navigate each state’s probate laws and procedures to ensure compliance with the law.

Ancillary Probate: Handling Estate Assets in Several States

A personal representative is an individual appointed by the decedent’s will, or by a court in the situation of an intestate estate, to administer the estate of the decedent. The personal representative has a fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the estate and its beneficiaries. When estate assets are located in different states, the duties of the personal representative become more involved and challenging. This situation often requires ancillary probate proceedings, which are additional probate proceedings required in states other than the decedent’s primary state of residence.

Although primary probate takes place in the deceased person’s state of residence, ancillary probate is required to manage out-of-state property. This process involves similar steps as primary probate, including validating the will (if applicable), assessing assets, settling debts, and distributing property. However, ancillary probate follows the laws of the state where the property is situated, not the state laws of the residence of the decedent.

For example, consider Jordan, a Wyoming resident who owns a ski property in Vail, Colorado. In the event of Jordan’s passing, primary probate would occur in Wyoming, his primary residence. It’s likely ancillary probate would also be necessary to address his Colorado property. The personal representative must organize and manage both the primary and ancillary probate processes.

How to Minimize Ancillary Probate Requirements

Jordan can take proactive steps to avoid ancillary probate in Colorado. Through the establishment of a comprehensive estate plan, which involves creating a trust and transferring the Colorado property into it, Jordan can remove the potential of an ancillary probate proceeding. A property held in a trust typically does not need to go through probate because the trust owns the property, not the individual who established the trust. By transferring the Colorado property into the trust, the Colorado property is part of the trust, and not Jordan’s individual estate.

Another potential solution to reduce the need for ancillary probate in Jordan’s estate could be the use of a beneficiary deed. Jordan could properly execute a beneficiary deed, naming a beneficiary to receive his Colorado property upon his death, bypassing the probate process.

For example, Jordan could name his best friend Bria as the beneficiary in a beneficiary deed for his Colorado property. This ensures that the property transfers directly to Bria outside of the probate process, offering an efficient and economical alternative than an ancillary probate proceeding.

Wyoming Probate & Estate Planning Attorneys

At the Law Firm of Josh Krieg, LLC, we’re committed to guiding you through probate and ancillary probate proceedings, offering support tailored to your situation. We offer a range of services to guide individuals and families through complex estate administration proceedings. Our services include but are not limited to:

  • Assisting with the initial filing of the probate petition and necessary court documents.
  • Notifying beneficiaries and potential heirs about the probate proceedings.
  • Inventorying and appraising the deceased person’s assets.
  • Handling creditor claims and debts owed by the estate.
  • Distributing assets to beneficiaries according to the terms of the will or intestacy laws.
  • Providing guidance on tax implications and minimizing estate taxes, if applicable.
  • Resolving disputes among beneficiaries or heirs, if they arise.
  • Closing the estate once all debts and distributions are finalized.

We also specialize in crafting comprehensive estate plans helping individuals and families protect their assets and minimizing the necessity for future probate proceedings . We are licensed to practice law in Colorado, Wyoming, and North Dakota. We provide remote services to clients located throughout Colorado, Wyoming, and North Dakota. Contact us today for a complimentary consultation.

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