Probate involves some of the most complex legal processes of any civil case. It is basically a legal proceeding where the court authenticates the Will and Testament of a deceased person. The executor usually carries out the process while a probate lawyer guides them through it.

We have compiled the most commonly asked probate-related questions and brought their answers to you. 

Most commonly asked probate questions

What is probate?

Probate is a legal process of transferring a deceased person’s Will to their new owners. If the deceased had an estate plan made before their passing, the state has a duty to fulfill their wishes and give the respective assets and funds to the new owners according to the plan. 

What is involved in the probate process?

A typical probate process involves the following.

  • Applying for Grant Of Probate.
  • Determining the value of the assets.
  • Paying Inheritance Tax, if due. 
  • Selling assets and properties that need to be removed. 
  • Paying any remaining debts and bills of the deceased. 
  • Preparing estate accounts. This is to show how much money was spent and the balance left. 
  • Distributing the assets to the beneficiaries according to what is written in the Will. 

How much does probate cost?

The cost of probate is either set by your state law or by practice and custom in your community. Probate can cost about 3% to 7% of the total estate value or more. 

How long does probate take?

Each case is different and takes different amounts of time. It mostly depends on the complexity of the deceased’s will and the presence of legal issues in their documents. Probate cases can take from weeks to months to several years. 

Is there a time limit on initiating the probate process?

No. There are no laws regarding how long you have until you can initiate the probate process. However, you need to keep in mind after your relative’s passing about paying the Inheritance Tax. This tax must be paid within six months of their death. 

Where does the probate process take place?

Probate usually takes place in the court of the State and County where the deceased resided at the time of their death. 

Who initiates probate proceedings?

Who can initiate probate proceedings is chosen by the deceased themselves before their passing when they create an estate plan. They are known as the executor and are responsible for initiating the process. If the deceased had no will or representative, the responsibility typically falls on the spouse or a close relative. 

Conclusion

Not only probate, but all kinds of law proceedings can be confusing and time taking. If you are expecting probate soon, you should consult with an attorney for more detailed insights into your situation.