Understanding the Process of Granting Probate

Upon the death of a resident of this state who dies without a will, the probate court of the county in which the decedent resided at the time of death will issue letters of administration of the decedent's estate. The grant of the inheritance, which is part of the initial phase of the succession process, can take up to six weeks or more to obtain. A probate court awards the estate when a legal representative or executor is appointed to manage the estate of a deceased person. Legalizing probate is a lengthy process with many steps.

As an expert in probate law, I understand that it can be confusing and difficult to navigate. Unbundled Legal Help can connect you with a local attorney in our network to help you with this. Once the succession is closed, beneficiaries and creditors still have a period to file lawsuits against the executor or against the estate itself. If the deceased person had a will at the time of their death and had appointed an executor, the probate court would issue a testamentary grant that would grant the executor the power to administer estate matters, including paying bills.

However, since legalizing probate can be confusing and it's easy to make mistakes, seeking the help of a probate attorney can ensure that the process goes smoothly. The succession process is divided into several steps and granting of inheritance occurs in the initial phase. During legalization of probate, several things occur, such as creation of an estate inventory, payment of outstanding debts, and distribution of remaining assets to heirs of deceased person. It's important to know ins and outs of probate if you're executor of person's will or beneficiary of their estate, and a financial advisor may be able to help set record straight. As you can see, above schedule is approximately eight months, assuming that there are no delays and that all steps of succession have been completed. If a person challenges validity of deceased's will and that person files petition or motion with court, this could delay legalization of inheritance by several weeks or months.

Once succession is granted, people listed in grant document (sometimes referred to as “personal representatives”) can use it to process deceased person's inheritance. The sooner a will is validated, if it exists, and sooner assets are identified and collected, sooner legalization of inheritance can proceed. A testamentary grant (also known as “grant of probate”) is document issued by Court that gives a person legal authority to process estate of deceased person. Legalization of will is also necessary when a person dies with assets that must be distributed and deceased person died without leaving a will.

Kristie Funn
Kristie Funn

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