Probate is the process the court utilizes to manage the affairs of a decedent’s estate. While the process was originally designed to ensure that creditors were paid, today it also provides for proper notice to all heirs and for the orderly disposition of the decedent’s remaining property and assets.
The need for probate is determined by a number of factors, including the form in which the decedent held title to property, whether or not there is a surviving spouse or domestic partner, and the nature and value of the decedent’s property. Probate may be necessary whether or not the decedent died with a will. Even if probate is necessary, not all of the decedent’s assets automatically pass to the beneficiaries through the probate process.
The complete probate process of estate administration generally takes less than a year. However, certain circumstances (i.e. will contest, large and complex estate, hard to find beneficiaries) may require additional time to close the estate.
It is important to contact an experienced probate and estate planning attorney to determine whether or not probate is necessary and what other steps are required to close the decedent’s estate. The attorneys of Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri have experience handling probate and estate administration matters. We invite you to contact us to schedule a free, no obligation consultation.