Probate is basically a legal, court-supervised process that occurs after an individual’s death. It includes the following steps:
- Proving beyond a doubt that the will of the deceased individual is valid.
- Determining and taking stock of the deceased individual’s property.
- Appraisal of the property.
- Paying off taxes and debts.
- Allocating property as specified in the will, or state laws in the absence of a will.
Commonly, the entire process involves court appearances and paperwork with help from legal counsel, with all the costs paid from the property of the deceased individual.
How Probate Works
Let’s say for example that we’re talking about probating your will. Following your death, the individual you assigned as executor of your will, or the judge-appointed person in the absence of a will upon your death, will file paperwork in your state’s local probate court. It’s the job of your executor to prove your will’s validity and provide the probate court with a detailed list of all your assets, debts, and inheritors. Other relatives and creditors will then be officially informed of your demise.
It is up to your executor to locate, secure, and handle all our assets throughout the entire probate process, which typically takes between several months and a year. Your executor will likewise have to determine whether to sell some of your assets according to the amount of your debts and your will’s contents, adds a top probate lawyer in Denver. Say for instance that your will specifies several cash bequests, however, your estate mostly consists of high-end jewelry.
Your executor must then decide if having your jewelry collection appraised and then sold will be the best recourse to produce the money need for your cash bequests. Likewise, if you left sizeable debts, your executor will have to sell a portion of your assets to repay those outstanding debts.
What Happens Next?
Eventually, the probate court will come to a decision and allow your executor to repay all your taxes and debts and then allocate your remaining assets to the individuals or organizations you specified in your will. Only then your executor will transfer your property to your inheritors. It’s likewise vital to note that in the majority of states, such as in Colorado, immediate family might be able to ask the court to grant them a temporary allowance during the probate process.