What Is Probate ?
Probate is a legal process to transfer or inherit property from the person who has died. It is usually started by an heir, relative or a friend.
The probate process means that there is court case that deals with the following:
- Deciding if a will is valid;
- Marshaling assets of the decedent, pay all debts and disburse the remaining estate to the rightful beneficiaries.
*Transferring the property of the person who has died to the heirs or beneficiaries
In order to start the probate process, one must usually go to court, and dealing with the court is very complicated. However, in some cases, property from someone who has died can be transferred without the need for filing a probate or going to court. However, it is always a good idea to consult an experienced probate attorney to determine it the estate qualifies for probate, or a different procedure should be used.
If the decedent died testate (if s(he) left a Will), then an executor is appointed by the probate court. However, if the decedent died intestate i-e (there is no Will), then an administrator is appointed by the probate court as an individual representative to marshal the assets, pay all personal debts, and distribute the rest of the estate to the rightful beneficiaries. This entire proceeding is conducted under the direct supervision of the court and is known as Probate. Usually, a probate case can take from 9 months to 1 year, sometimes even longer, depending on its simplicity or complexity.
For More information on Wills, Probate, Trusts and Estate Litigation, contact Law Office of Michael C. Maddux at 909-890-2350 or fill out a Request for a free Initial Consultation.