Probate is a process of justifying a last will and testament, meaning verifying the will is legal and the deceased individual’s intentions are enacted upon. Probate also happens when there isn’t a will and a probate court is required to determine how to allocate the assets of the deceased’s estate to their loved ones.
For smaller estates, probate might only take a couple of weeks or months. On the other hand, the probate measures for larger estates may take years. Any individual with a valid claim to any assets in the estate may challenge the will or file a request with a probate court, that may make the process last even longer.
Contrary to what some people believe, wills don’t necessary help you in avoiding probate. But the conditions of the will direct probate, and they may make the process easier for those involved.
A lot of assets do not go through probate. Retirement capital, financial institution accounts, and life insurance policies with payable on death beneficiaries are transferred to the beneficiary when the owner passes away. Assets in a trust are managed individually from probate in accordance to the terms of the trust.
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