Probate is the process of determining the legal validity of a person’s inheritance and to authorize an executor or administrator. Probate can take anywhere from a few months to several years.
Some states have simple Probate for small estates, which can shorten the process significantly or even avoid the Probate process altogether. You can also avoid Probate with living trusts and joint tenant ownership.
What is the Probate Process?
There are various legal documents associated with the process. These are standardized in most states by the Uniform Probate Code (UPC), which is designed to make things simple. The documents include:
- A petition or application for Probate which should be accompanied by a death certificate and the will.
- Proof that you have posted notice of Probate, which should be published in local newspapers and mailed to creditors and beneficiaries.