About Probate

Probate is the legal process that takes place after someone dies, that makes sure property and possessions are given to the correct people, and any taxes or debts owed are paid. If there’s a written will, the court checks to ensure that it is valid, and then makes sure the directions in the will are carried out.

To do this, the probate judge works with an executor or personal representative, whether or not a will is in place.  

The steps of the
probate process are:

Types of probate

The probate process can either be “formal,” requiring hearings in court, or “informal,” handled through an administrative process that does not involve the court called intestacy. Either way, probate can be a very lengthy process—in the United States, the average probate takes 17 months to complete. Some probates can go on for several years. Because of this, many beneficiaries choose to get an inheritance advance (sometimes called probate advance) to receive their inheritance money sooner.  A probate advance is not a loan. It does not need to be paid back by the person who receives the advance—it is repaid directly from the estate at the end of probate.  

Businessman hands signing an inheritance advance document.