When you pass on, your estate may have to go through a court process to appoint an individual (or multiple individuals) to gather, manage, and distribute your assets. This is what happens when you probate a will.
Note that if you die without leaving anything of value or if all your items of value were put into a trust or joint account, probate may not be necessary at all.
Why You Should Probate a Will
There are plenty of reasons why you should probate a will and why you should have a probate lawyer help you with the process. These include:
- A personal representative can be assigned to determine the validity of your will
- A petition can be filed to determine if you passed away without a will (intestate)
- It can be determined if your case should be filed formally or informally
- Each of your heirs can receive notice by the court of the probate proceedings
- An inventory or accounting of your estate can be prepared
- Appropriate steps can be taken to notify your possible creditors
- The assets of your estate can be properly distributed
What Happens If You Don’t Probate a Will
If you don’t probate a will before you die, an executor should file your will in court to begin the probate process. However, since the executor may die first or decide they don’t want the job, it’s best to probate a will beforehand. If no one probates the will, your personal representative may open themselves up to lawsuits by both your heirs and your creditors.
For more answers to your questions about probating a will, contact us at Burton Family Attorneys today! We offer a variety of services in our many practice areas including probate, family law, and more.