After one of your family members dies, his or her will and estate will likely go through the probate process. Probate is a formal legal process that involves recognizing the will and appointing the executor of the estate.
According to the American Bar Association, the executor is the person responsible for administering the estate and distributing the assets it contains as part of the probate process. Although probate is fairly standard and uncomplicated for most estates, there are still many myths and misconceptions that surround this legal process.
Every will goes through probate
Although most wills do go through probate, some exceptions still exist. For example, if you have a smaller estate or own jointly held assets, your will may not undergo the probate process after you die.
The probate process takes years
The probate process typically does not take several years to resolve. In most cases, the only thing that delays probate is the period that gives creditors time to file any claims against the estate. This period usually lasts a few months and then the court can close the estate shortly thereafter.
The state gets everything if there is no will
If you die and do not have a valid will, state laws will dictate who will inherit your property. However, there is no risk that the state will attempt to take over your property and family’s inheritance.
Assigning an executor you trust to your estate can help prevent issues and delays during the probate process. Carefully consider who you want to act as your executor while you plan your estate and consider updating your executor if that no person no longer meets your criteria.