The process in which a court oversees and administers a decedent’s estate is known as “probate,” and many people know very little about this process. All you might have heard about probate is that you should avoid it, but not what you should know about it. Proper estate planning can help you avoid probate, but whether you are trying to avoid probate with your estate planning, or you are in the middle of a probate process of your own, here are some things everyone should know about probate:
What does the process look like?
For the government to administer an estate, someone needs to pass away first. Once someone passes on, a loved one will need to gather any important documents like a death certificate or last will and testament. From there, the person will apply to begin a probate proceeding, where the court will name someone as the executor.
The next steps include gathering the decedent’s assets, notifying creditors, and dispersing any remaining estate assets after paying any debts that the decedent has. While the list of tasks seems short, the wait to resolve all of them may not be.
Probate can take many months or several years to resolve, depending on many factors. The complexity of the estate, the efficiency of the government, and how easy it is for you to complete any necessary actions on your part can all impact the length of the process. The time it takes to resolve the probate process is one of the primary reasons to create a thorough estate plan.
Get the probate guidance you need
Even though the government is overseeing the probate process, be sure you are doing your part to help things along. The guidance from an experienced probate attorney can help you settle things swiftly, efficiently and ensure that the heirs to an estate inherit exactly what they deserve. If you are in the middle of the probate process, make sure you are doing everything possible to keep things moving by contacting a probate attorney today.