Questions about Probate
What is probate?
Probate is the legal process through which a deceased person estate is dealt with. When somebody dies, it is not automatic that the estate is passed to the beneficiaries and that debts are paid.
The probate process is handled in court and determines things such as, if there is a will, is it valid and if the estate solvent. The court will then issue a document that gives the executor the authority to take control of the estate’s assets.
When is probate required?
Probate can be required if there is a will or not. If most assets are jointly owned, it is possible to avoid probate. This, however, is rare and most estates go through the probate process.
How long does probate take?
This comes down to the complexity of the estate and if there was a will left behind. For relative simple estates with clear instructions the process can take 1 month, for more complicated estates the process can drag on and take 12 months or more.
Who is responsible for obtaining probate?
In the case that there is a will left behind, it is up to the named executor of the estate to obtain probate and distribute the estate to the named beneficiaries.