What Does Probate Mean? Understanding the Administration of an Estate

What Does Probate Mean? Understanding the Administration of an Estate

The death of a loved one can be a devastating process. Before you even get the chance to grieve, though, you find that you may need to get the affairs of the deceased in order. One major aspect of doing so is the probate process. It may be seem like a daunting process. However, a probate lawyer can help make the process easier.

What Is Probate?

Probate is the process used to a administer the estate of a dead person. This includes sorting through any assets or possessions and giving them to those meant to inherit them once debts and taxes have been paid off. If there is a will, the executor of the Will should be named. This person is responsible for administering the estate.

Before the executor can begin this process, they have to apply for a Grant of Probate. This document allows them to organize the estate of the deceased. Once taxes and debts have been paid and the inheritance has been distributed, the probate process ends. The executor is responsible for informing beneficiaries about the progress of the estate administration process. They also have to keep accounts of the estate to show the beneficiaries when they ask for it. Executors can have legal action taken against them should they breach the rights of the beneficiaries or mismanage the estate.


The Probate Process

Due to the fact that Wills and estates vary, the exact process is going to be different for every situation. The process is dependent on instructions in the Will as well as the instructions of the creditors and beneficiaries. The executor has to gather all information about the assets and debts  of the deceased.

Then, the executor must apply for Grant of Probate. After that, an inheritance tax return needs to be completed and all due taxes need to be paid. Once the executor has received a Grant of Probate, they can pay off outstanding debts. Then, they can follow the Will’s instructions in distributing what is left of the estate. 

Time to Complete Probate

The probate usually takes around a year. The size of the estate as well as the complexity of the probate process can affect the time. If the probate is international, it may take six months to two years. Disputes can complicate the probate process. Disagreements between the creditors, tax authorities, beneficiaries, and the executor can increase the time it takes to administer the estate.

What If There is No Will?

 A person who dies without a Will is known to be intestate. Intestacy rules state who is able to apply to be the administrator of the estate. The executor will need a Grant of Administration to administer the estate. The administrator would need to follow intestacy rules to distribute inheritance. These rules only allow for children, spouses, civil partners, and other close relatives to inherit the estate.

The Wrap Up

Probate is a lengthy process that requires quite a few steps. If you try to do it by yourself, you may end up making  a mistake. You do not have to go through probate alone. The Law Office of Joe Brad Brock is known for its probate services throughout Texas.