Probate is a process by which you can
- Transfer the property of a decedent to an heir; and
- Take care of the financial responsibilities and obligations of a decedent.
If the decedent died with a will, an executor is appointed as the personal representative by the court. If the decedent died without a will, an administrator is appointed as the personal representative by the court.
Being a personal representative of an estate is a very serious responsibility. The personal representative of the estate must collect assets of the decedent, pay expenses and liabilities of the decedent, and distribute assets to the heirs of the estate. The entire probate proceeding is supervised by the court.
The probate proceeding can take 9 months or longer, depending on the facts and circumstances of each case.
What if you were the wife or domestic partner of the decedent? There may be simplified procedures that you can take if this is the case. If you have questions about this, your attorney can assist you.
If you believe you need to probate an estate, your attorney is the best person to advise you on important deadlines as well as other matters you need to consider.