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Answers To A Few Probate Questions

If a loved one has recently passed away, then there is a possibility that their estate needs to go through probate. This is confusing for some people and it may also be a bit frustrating and concerning. However, it is a typical process, so keep reading to learn about some probate facts.

Do All Estates Go Through Probate?

Probate is the legal term used to describe what happens when a person dies and a will is filed with the court. Generally speaking, probate is a process that allows the court to deem whether or not the will is a valid document. The court needs to investigate the will and listen to any parties who contest its contents or veracity. During the probate process, the deceased individual's property cannot be sold or distributed, regardless of what the will says.

Probate is something that is often required for complex and large estates. If you loved on did not have a lot of assets or if there are only one or two possible beneficiaries, then the estate may not need to go through the probate process. In fact, many individuals will draft wills and organize estates to avoid probate. 

If you want to know if probate is necessary for your loved one's estate, then you can either speak with a lawyer or investigate the laws in your state. Some states require probate only if the estate is worth a certain amount of money.

How Long Does Probate Last?

If the estate does need to go through probate, then you may want to know how long this will last. The timeframe can vary greatly depending on a few factors. If the legality or contents of the will are being contested, then the probate process can actually take several years. During this time, arguments are heard and evidence is viewed by the court. 

If the will is not being contested, then probate can often take between six and nine months. This allows the executor to make identify and inventory any and all property. The property also may need to be appraised to see how much it is worth. Additionally, all bills will need to be paid from the estate and debts must be satisfied before the property can be distributed. Oftentimes debtors will have some time to make claims in relation to the estate.

Probate can take some time based on the speed of the executor and whether or not duties are being completed in a timely manner.

If you want to know more about probate and how to manage the process for a loved one, speak with a probate attorney or visit a site like