Probate is the term used to describe proving a will. Sometimes handled in court, the process of probating an estate proves the validity of a will so that the property can be transferred to the listed beneficiaries accordingly. While there are numerous steps involved in probating an estate, this process must be done in order for the court to decide the legal validity of the will so that probate can be granted to the executor.
1. The court must swear in the executor. This will occur after the last will and testament, death certificate, and contact information for the named executor have all been submitted. If no executor is named in the will, the court will appoint one. The executor has most of the responsibility in handling the will, as this person must locate all of the assets included in the will and distribute them to each beneficiary. Before the heirs can obtain their money, however, they must provide specific information which identifies the funding source of their anticipated inheritance. In addition, the executor must also be in charge of resolving any debts that the deceased owner had.
2. All creditors, along with the general public, must be made aware of the death. By doing so, it notifies creditors who have an interest in the estate to file a claim within a certain amount of time. Although many people consider this to be one of the probate problems when probating an estate, most states require that this step be completed. Failure to complete this step may result in inherited real estate being more difficult to obtain.
3. The property must be inventoried. The executor will inventory all property and assets to determine the overall estate value. After this is completed, the estate can be distributed amongst the creditors and beneficiaries.
Since the probate process can last for a long period of time, sometimes months or years, some people choose to receive an inheritance loan. If someone is already guaranteed a certain amount of money in the will, but probating the estate is taking too long in court, that person may receive an advance on their inheritance. It is common, though, for the probating process to be completed quickly. By making sure all of the steps are followed correctly, the process of probating an estate does not have to be as difficult as some people believe it is.