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What Is Probate?

“What is Probate?” is a common question for estate planning attorneys.

Probate court handles the administration of a person’s estate when that person passes away. Probate administration of an estate involves making sure creditors of the estate are paid and the distribution of the estate’s assets. For purposes of probate, an estate is any property that a person owns solely in their name at the time of death.

Probate is deadline-driven. This means that if you become a personal representative of the estate, you must follow procedures in a timely manner. You also must take proper steps in order to avoid having a creditor try to recover any debts of the estate from you personally.

Examples Where Probate May Be Necessary

#1 Selling your loved one’s home.

A common example of a probate case is where someone is the only owner of a piece of property at the time of their death. The family wishes to sell the property to pay for the funeral expenses of their loved one. But, the family cannot sell the property if their name is not on the deed as an owner of the property. Now what do you do? We invite you to contact our office to discuss the specifics of your situation.

#2 Gaining Access to your loved one’s bank accounts.

Your loved one has passed away. They named you as the beneficiary of their estate in their will. Or maybe they didn’t have a will but you are the only living relative. You try to go to the bank to access their bank account. You even show the bank the will and explain you are the only living relative. But, the bank says you cannot have access to that money without the proper paperwork. Now what? Contact our office to set up a meeting to discuss the specifics of your situation.

When Is Probate Not Necessary?

It’s always best to speak with an estate planning attorney to determine when is probate not necessary or required.

Probate can be a lot to deal with while you are grieving the loss of a loved one. Our office is here to help you navigate through this often time-consuming and stressful process.

Do You Have More Probate Administration Questions?

Please contact us and be sure to read our probate administration frequently asked questions!