What Happens During Probate?

What Happens During Probate?

Probate is a process supervised by the court system that decides the authentication of a decedent’s last will and testament. Each state has set laws that describe what is required to probate an estate and can be found in the state’s probate codes and intestate succession (which applies if someone passes away without writing a will). Depending on the circumstances, a person may prefer to have their estate avoid probate entirely, and can take measures to prevent it from happening. 

The key elements of probate are listed as follows:

  • Probate is the process that administers a deceased person’s assets.
  • The court will review the decedent’s estate plan and decide whether it is valid and appoint an executor if needed.
  • The executor, or personal representative, is responsible for finding assets, paying debts, distributing the estate, filing taxes, and more.
  • Probate can be avoided if certain estate strategies are implemented with help from an estate planning lawyer. 
  • Probate can be a prolonged process that can last up to six months or longer.
  • Not every asset within a decedent’s estate may have to go through probate.
  • Probate can result in increased disputes among beneficiaries and other issues.
  • The laws for probate vary by state, and it’s important to become familiar with them to understand how a decedent’s estate will be affected.

As the probate attorneys from Klenk Law have discussed with clients before, there are many factors to consider when it comes to probate. Those who have estate planning or probate-related concerns and questions may need to reach out to a lawyer experienced in this area of law to guide them along the way. 

What matters most is that the decedent’s lifetime legacy is passed down to friends, family, and charitable organizations how they would have wished.

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