What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process for the transfer of assets – houses, cars, stocks, bonds, boats, etc. – from the deceased person’s name to his or her estate, so that they can be sold or distributed to the heirs. Probate will settle all tax liabilities by paying legitimate creditors.
Probate is a process that can take from 9 to 18 months. and takes place in the county of the decedent’s residence. Probate oversees the settlement of the estate and validates the terms of a will if there is one, and distributes remaining assets.
When Does Probate Start
Probate starts when someone dies whose assets were not placed in a fully vested living trust.
If the decedent leaves a will, he/she died testate. If there is no will, he/she died intestate. The person appointed under the will to serve as the personal representative is known as the executor. Without a will, the court will appoint a personal representative who will be known as the administrator. Usually, a family member will step forward as the potential administrator.
The probate process can be long and complicated, so it is highly recommended to retain an attorney who specializes in probate matters.