A couple of common questions that come up when it’s time to settle the estate of someone who has passed away are, “What is probate?” and “How long does it take to probate a will?” In this article, we intend to help shed some light on these questions so that there’s no further mystery about them.

What Is Probate?

Probate is the legal process of settling the estate of someone who has passed away. It is supervised by a court. If the decedent passed away without a will, the court might appoint an administrator for the estate. However, if the decedent left a last will and testament, the procedure is meant to validate it and settle any disputes about inheritances. 

Probate gives the executor named in the will the legal authority to oversee the probate estate, which includes distributing assets and paying debts.

How Long Does It Take to Probate A Will?

Probating a will generally may take less than a year, although in unfortunate cases it can take longer. For example, sometimes assets such as business interests might be considered a bit more complicated and trickier to distribute to heirs. Another example is if someone is challenging the validity of a will. This may result in a longer probate process than something more straightforward. 

There is a simplified procedure for smaller estates that have no real property and a value below a certain $50,000. In summary, the probate process may be long or short depending on the situation. One of the best ways to find out would be to contact us at Vanderkooi Law to assess the situation. Having a probate attorney work through this with you may significantly reduce the amount of time that you’ll be spending on the process.