Widows & Probate
One of the most common misconceptions that we see is the mistaken idea that widows and widowers are not required to go through probate when a spouse passes away.
There is no exception to the requirements of probate when there is a surviving spouse.
The reason for this is that the spouse who passed away was not legally required to leave anything to his or her surviving spouse. The deceased spouse had the legal right to leave everything to the children or to anyone else desired.
Because of that freedom, unless special estate planning steps have previously been taken, even the surviving spouse must go through the legal probate process to prove that he or she is the rightful heir of the deceased spouse.