How long does probate take?

There is a relatively speedy process (called “voluntary administration”) for estates consisting entirely of personal property valued at $25,000 or less, excluding the value of any vehicle. Barring this expedited process, the probate of a will takes approximately 1 to 2 years. 

Is probate always necessary?

No. Typically, it is not necessary to probate an estate where the decedent’s property passed to beneficiaries by other means, such as through account beneficiary designations, rights of survivorship on jointly held property, or by living trust.

What is probate?

Probate is a court proceeding that transfers ownership of property from a person who has died to estate creditors and the lawful beneficiaries or beneficiaries of a will, or if there is no will, statutory beneficiaries. In most cases, the court appoints a Personal Representative (formerly referred to as an Executor or Executrix) to collect, manage, and transfer estate property.