Is Probate Needed If There Is a Will?

Probate court hearings and proceedings are not required when there is a valid will of the deceased person. However, some estates do need to go through probate due to their size and importance. In general, there are two main factors to designate if you need to perform a probate procedure for the inherited estate.

First, the kind of assets within the estate could be of extreme importance and scarcity that you will be required by law to conduct probate. Then, the aggregate value of all the assets in the inherited estate offers valid reasons for probate. It would be useful to read about probate process length at Inheritance Advanced blog and have all your inquiries answered.

When Is A Will Valid?

The best way to avoid entering into probate procedures to inherit property is the existence of a valid will. It makes things a lot easier for the beneficiaries to have access to a written will. Therefore, when you know that the deceased person has filled in a will with his attorney or notary public, most States will never ask you to proceed in probate to inherit their estate. 

However, to validly execute a will, you need to prove that it was written and signed by the deceased person. Furthermore, the deceased person should always be a mentally capable testator, and the will should also be witnessed by several people as designated in state laws and statutes. Most people write their wills by hand and send them to their lawyers. 

When is Probate Applicable?

Many people are confused with the real meaning of probate. When a person dies leaving a will, it’s necessary to proceed in probate only to apply the provisions of this will. On the other hand, if there is no will when a person passes away, then probate is necessary to ensure that his property would be distributed to the beneficiaries according to the state laws of inheritance (intestacy law). 

Another example would be the existence of a trust fund that had both the name of the deceased person and another beneficiary that could have also passed away before the trust fund owner’s death. In such cases, the probate process is also mandatory to let the state courts decide and find the lawful person to inherit the trust fund under the local inheritance laws.

Is There A Chance To Avoid Going Through the Probate Process? 

Probating a will is a lengthy and expensive process. It involves several court hearings and many lawyers and accountants to testify and analyze the will. In general, you can avoid going through the probate process if the deceased person designates the beneficiaries of the written estates in the right way.

In any other instances, it would be mandatory to probate a will and let the court decide on who is eligible to inherit the property. In some jurisdictions, the deceased person’s family could maintain the deceased’s property without probating a will. However, they need to pay all taxes and fees and not sell them to any third party. 

The Right Way To Avoid Probate When There Is a Will

Planning your next steps carefully allows you to avoid probate to an existing will. Some beneficiaries prefer to avoid probate since it is linked with higher legal fees. Furthermore, they can skip estate taxes, which are higher when the inherited estate is of great monetary value. Another reason to execute a will without passing through the probate process would be to retain your privacy. Will records do not receive full publicity, in contrast with the probate procedures held in courts where everything is recorded and revealed to the public.

One of the smartest ways to avoid probate proceedings would be to register your estate in a trust fund. Adding many beneficiaries to this fund ensures that all your estate registered in the trust fund would pass to them without passing through probate. Additionally, every life insurance policy is eligible to pass to the designated person upon your death without further procedures. Retirement accounts and 401K programs could also be eligible to pass the funds to your beneficiaries without the tedious probate process.

A will should always be perfectly structured if you want your heirs to inherit your property without the need for probate. Many people write their will by themselves without asking for legal assistance. However, the existence of a will doesn’t automatically ban the need for probate. Caring for your family means allocating your property the right way.

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