What is Probate?
Reduced to its basic elements, probate is the legal process of ensuring that the correct persons inherit the property and possessions of a person who has passed away.
By statute, this process takes a minimum of about six months, though it can take substantially longer. The basic steps are:
• Obtaining the probate court’s approval of the appointment of the Executor.
• The Executor then rounds up all of the property, possessions, and accounts that were owned by the person who has passed away.
• The Executor pays any outstanding bills owed by the deceased person.
• Finally, the Executor distributes the remaining property and assets to the persons entitled to inherit them.
Probate can be informal with minimal court supervision or it can be formal with the court overseeing and approving each step of the process.