The probate process can be a bit mysterious and can take a long time, often 9 -18 months. As every estate and inheritance is different, complicated by each state having different rules, the probate process can be challenging and frustrating even for experienced people. There is also conflicting or inaccurate information online so we usually suggest speaking with your probate representative or a probate lawyer in your state.
Since we are a probate loan company writing this article, we’ll share all of our research links to help you educate yourself and decide if a probate loan or inheritance advance is right for you. We’re also happy to answer your questions honestly anytime, at no charge, with no obligations (860) 800-6633.
So let’s talk about Probate Loans and start by answering the question…
What is Probate?
The primary focus of the probate process is gathering your loved one’s (decedent’s) assets, paying any outstanding debts, and transferring your loved one’s property to beneficiaries or heirs. When there is no will or trust to follow, the probate court will appoint an administrator to handle the decedent’s remaining affairs.
When asking “How long does a Probate take?” As an example, in California it can take as little as nine months; however, that would be considered fast. On average they take a year to a year and a half. Depending on the facts of a particular estate, the administration may take longer.*
What is the Probate Process?
Probate is the formal legal process that gives recognition to a will and appoints the executor or personal representative who will administer the estate and distribute assets to the intended beneficiaries.**
If your deceased loved one had a will, and the decedent had property subject to probate, the probate process begins when the executor, who is nominated by the decedent in the last will, presents the will for probate in a courthouse in the county where the decedent lived, or owned property.
If there is no will, someone must ask the court to appoint him or her as administrator of the decedent’s estate. Often, this is the spouse or an adult child of the decedent. Once appointed by the court, the executor or administrator becomes the legal representative of the estate.
The Probate Process: Four Simple Steps
As outlined on LegalZoom***, here are the general probate steps to understand. An administrator will need to:
- File a petition and give notice to heirs and beneficiaries.
- Following appointment by the court, the personal representative must give notice to all known creditors of the estate and take an inventory of the estate property.
- All estate and funeral expenses, debts and taxes must be paid from the estate.
- Legal title in property is transferred according to the will or under the laws of intestacy (if the decedent did not have a will).
Once all of the necessary probate-related affairs are handled, the administrator with then be ready to close out the estate. They’ll file a Petition for Final Distribution, and provide an accounting of monetary transactions. The judge will then issue an order for Final Distribution, which allows distribution of all assets and close the estate. Finally, they’ll will request your discharge from the court as a personal representative.
So now what?
Now that you understand the probate process a bit better here are some things to consider:
- If your loved one is still alive, you may want to consider setting up a living trust which may allow your family to avoid the expensive and time consuming probate process.
- If your loved one has died and you must start the probate process you will likely want to speak with a probate attorney in your state.
- If probate is underway and you can’t wait for the monies to be distributed to you we can help you better understand probate loans, what are known as an ‘Inheritance Advance’. Feel free to email firstname.lastname@example.org or call Matt for a free consultation if you need cash in as little as one day (860) 800-6633.
If you have additional questions check out https://heircashnow.com/what-is-an-inheritance-loan/ or the additional resource links below:
* Super Lawyers – How long does Probate take in California? https://ask.superlawyers.com/california/probate-and-estate-administration/how-long-does-probate-take-in-california/
** American Bar Association – The Probate Process https://www.americanbar.org/groups/real_property_trust_estate/resources/estate_planning/the_probate_process/
••• LegalZoom – The Probate Process: Four Simple Steps https://www.legalzoom.com/articles/the-probate-process-four-simple-steps