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What to expect during the probate process

Maybe you're in the process of creating an estate plan. Or maybe you were named the executor of a loved one's will. Regardless of your situation, there may come a time when you need to learn more about the probate process.

Knowing the finer details of probate allows you to make informed decisions that move the process forward as quickly and efficiently as possible.

What happens during probate?

The first step in the probate process is when your executor submits your will to the appropriate court.

From there, the court collects all the property that's subject to probate. This leads to the process of paying any taxes, claims or debts by the estate.

The final step in the process is the distribution of any remaining property to the beneficiary or beneficiaries outlined in the will.

What about a will contest?

There are many things that can complicate the probate process, with a will contest at the top of the list. This can move to the forefront for a variety of reasons, such as if one child feels another child forced their parent to sign a will that benefited the latter child.

In the event of a will contest, the probate process will take longer to reach completion.

How much does it cost?

There is no simple answer to this question, as the cost of probate is based on a variety of factors:

  • Court costs and fees
  • Attorney fees
  • Executor fees

Furthermore, the longer the process takes, the more it will cost. This is one of the many reasons why a will contest is frustrating.

When creating an estate plan, consider all your options for leaving your assets to your loved ones. You may be able to take steps to reduce the stress associated with probate.

If you're responsible for overseeing the probate process as an executor, learn more about your responsibilities and legal rights. You don't want to make any mistakes along the way, as you could be personally liable.

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