Maybe you have heard about probate, but few people really understand the process. If you are an Executor – or Personal Representative – of a Will, you should know how probate works. Here is a comprehensive guide of the probate process.
Last Will and Testament: The document that must be probated
A Last Will and Testament is the foundation of an estate plan. It is a legal document that allows the estate’s owner to choose how the estate will be distributed after they die. The Will’s creator, known as the testator, can list assets (home, financial accounts, valuables) and the beneficiaries (loved ones, charities) that will receive them. A Will also lets the testator to name a guardian to care for minor children if something happens to them.
When the testator passes, the Will must go through probate in order for its provisions to be legally carried out.
In the Will, the Executor – or Personal Representative – is named who oversees the Will through the probate process.
Related: Choosing an Executor for My Will
What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process of a probate court reviewing and verifying a deceased person’s Will. Once the Will is validated, the Executor can distribute the estate’s assets following the terms written in the document by the decedent.
Probate laws vary state-to-state. The Uniform Probate Code was first enacted in 1969 and amended in 1990 to help states standardize probate laws. To date, the code has been adopted by 19 states.
The Probate Process:
Here is the step-by-step process of the probate process that the Executor (Personal Representative) must follow:
Contrary to belief, you do not need an attorney to create a Will. Gentreo offers a simple, affordable online Will that ensures everything you worked so hard for will be protected and go to those you choose. You can store your Will and all your important documents in Gentreo’s Digital Family Vault that can be accessed anytime from anywhere.