How Does The Probate Process Work?

by M-Gillies

The probate process isn't always quick so don't make any major spending purchases until probate is complete.

After your death, the person named in the will as your executor files papers in the local probate court to prove the validity of the will. When the executor files will, they will also present the court with a list of your property, debts and who is to inherit what is left. It is after this information is presented and officiated that creditors and relatives are notified.

During the process of the probate, the executor must find, secure and manage the assets listed in the will, and depending on the contents of your will, and the amount of your debts, the executor may have to decide whether or not to sell your real estate, securities or other property. This means that if your estate has many outstanding debts, your executor may have to sell a portion of your property to pay the debts down.

The probate process isn’t always quick and could take between a few months to a year. During this time, family members may ask the court to release short-term support funds before the court grants the executor permission to pay your debts and taxes, and divide the rest among the people or organizations named in the will.


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