If your loved one left behind a will, it must be executed as per their instructions. However, there are legal procedures that must be followed for that to happen.
A will is a legal document, and the court has to be involved in its execution. This happens in a process known as probate. As a beneficiary of the will, you ought to understand what goes on during the entire probate process. Your inheritance is at stake, and you cannot take any chances.
What are the basics of probate?
The first order of business in probate is validating the will and ensuring it meets the legal requirements. Once that happens, the probate court will give legal authority to someone to administer the estate. These people are known as estate executors, and they do not necessarily have to be among the beneficiaries.
The executor is responsible for apportioning each beneficiary their share of the estate. However, before they do that, all claims to the estate must be settled. The executor is responsible for all financial transactions involving the estate, such as clearing outstanding debts or taxes.
How long does probate take?
It all depends on the prevailing circumstances. Probate proceedings can stretch several months or even years. For instance, if there is a will contest or the executor is not efficient in discharging their duties, it will take considerably longer to close the estate.
What could go wrong during probate?
Various things could go wrong during probate, so one should be careful. For example, you need to be wary of executor misconduct. When the person charged with administering the will steals or wastes the estate’s assets, you could miss out on your rightful inheritance.
Understanding what you can do to safeguard your interests during probate will help you smoothly get through the process with everything intact.