What is Probate and is it Required?

Feb 24, 2023
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Dealing with the aftermath of a loved one's death is already a stressful experience, and if you are appointed as the executor or administrator of their estate, it can add confusion and further stress. It is crucial to understand whether or not the assets of the deceased need to go through probate.

Probate is required in certain circumstances to legally transfer assets to the rightful heirs. During the probate process, the court decides who is legally entitled to the assets, confirms the legality of the will and its directives, and distributes the assets accordingly.

Several factors determine whether or not you need probate, such as the type and value of the property, who owns the property, and whether there is a named beneficiary. It is the executor's responsibility to go to probate court, and if there is no will or executor, the court appoints someone as the administrator.

Even if there is a will, probate may still be required to ensure that the assets are distributed according to state laws of inheritance. However, there are instances where probate is not required, such as for assets that have a designated beneficiary, jointly held assets, or assets in a living trust.

Since estate asset threshold amounts and probate laws vary by state, it is essential to review resources and speak with a professional if you still have questions. Additionally, some instances may require probate, even if the estate value is below the threshold, such as when an insurance or title company requires legal proof of property ownership.

At Trust ASAP, we offer probate services and provide a simple and customizable estate planning solution. You can take our free quiz to determine where to get started or compare our estate planning options today. If you have further questions, browse our Learn Center or chat with a live support representative.