After you die, your estate will likely undergo the probate process. This legal process involves formally recognizing the existence of a will and appointing the executor to administer the estate.
Once the probate process concludes, according to the American Bar Association, the intended beneficiaries can receive their assets. Although probate is a standard part of the estate administration process, there are many myths that surround it.
The probate process takes years
The probate process does take time because the creditors of the deceased must have the opportunity to file a claim against the estate to cover any outstanding obligations. How long this process takes depends on the estate’s unique circumstances, but it usually does not take more than a few months.
The existence of a will prevents probate
When you create a will, you document your personal wishes in regards to who gets your assets after you die. But since probate is the process of validating the will, most estates must undergo this legal process.
The probate process is expensive
The probate process does require an investment, but this investment is usually not enough to eat into the total profits of the estate. The cost will be higher, however, if a probate dispute occurs or if litigation ensues.
It is normal to have concerns about the probate process, especially after the death of a loved one. Those overseeing the estate of a deceased loved one should remember that this is a very standard process that can resolve itself relatively quickly.