Probate is a court-supervised process used to validate your will and distribute your property. The process takes anywhere from 6 months to over 2 years to complete, and may require that lawyers or other professionals be hired. Even if you die without a will, your estate must still pass through the probate system.
- Your will is filed with the probate court and becomes a public record.
- Your executor inventories your property.
- Your property is appraised.
- All debts, including death taxes, are paid.
- The court validates your will.
- Court costs, attorneys’ fees, and executors’ fees are paid from your estate.
- Then, and only then, the remaining of your estate is distributed to your loved ones.