Frequently Asked Questions About Probate
Below you will find some frequently asked questions that people have regarding probate. To learn more about probate and how we at Prince Law Firm handle these types of cases, please read through our information or call our firm at 248-419-1968. You can also use our online contact form to reach our Bloomfield Hills office.
- What is probate?
- Do I need a lawyer for probate matters?
- How long does probate take?
- Is it possible to avoid probate?
What Is Probate?
After a person dies, his or her estate goes through a legal process known as probate. Through probate, the last will and testament as well as the estate of the deceased person is evaluated, distributed and settled. In the event that the person died without a valid will in place, the probate court will appoint an executor to supervise the distribution of the estate’s assets and property.
Do I Need A Lawyer For Probate Matters?
Probate can be a complicated process that includes a great deal of legal language and dense documents. It is best to minimally consult with an attorney at the beginning of the probate process. To ensure you are protected throughout the entire process, have a lawyer by your side. However, in the event that your will is comprehensive and detailed, or the estate is small, it may be possible to navigate through probate on your own, but not advisable.
How Long Does Probate Take?
Most estates need a minimum of six months to complete the probate process. Some can take up to nine months, and even longer, depending on the complexity. However, if an estate is less than $17,000, it may qualify for a shortened probate.
Is It Possible To Avoid Probate?
The only way in which probate is avoidable is if an individual dies without any assets or property in solely his or her name at the time of death. If assets are held jointly or by other individuals, probate is not needed. There are a number of estate planning actions and tools that can be implemented in order to avoid probate, including gifting of assets and property, living trusts, joint tenancy and payable upon death accounts.