Probate Frequently Asked Questions
Probate Definitions and General Information
- What is probate?
- How does the probate process work?
- How long does probate usually take to complete?
- Why is probate actually required?
- How much does probate cost?
- If there is a really small estate, is probate still necessary?
- What goes on in the probate of an uncontested will?
- Where is probate handled?
- Can I handle probate without a lawyer?
Definition and Duties of the Personal Representative / Executor / Executrix
- Who is legally responsible for handling the probate process?
- Can there be more than one designated personal representative?
- Is it necessary for the personal representative to live in the decedent's state?
- What are the main duties of a personal representative?
- If I am named as the personal repreentative, do I have to accept the job?
- Are personal representatives usually paid for their work?
- What happens if the personal representative fails to perform his or her duty?
- What if someone objects to the will?
- What is the basis for a will contest?
- How can a will be "contested?"
- How can I find out if there was a will?
- How can I avoid probate of my estate?
- What happens when the person who dies owned land in multiple states?
- Is it necessary for all of the decedent's property to go through probate?
Payments and Taxes
- How are creditors against the estate handled?
- Do beneficiaries have to pay creditors out of their own pocket if the estate is insolvent?
- How are taxes handled in probate?
Provisions for Children / Survivors
- Are provisions for the care and guardianship of minor children usually provided for in a will?
- How does a "joint tenancy" affect a will?
- Are there any specific rules about how property can be disposed of?
Questions About Wills
- What are the actual requirements for a will to be valid?
- After a will is created, can it be modified?
- Should a will provide a separate list that details and bequeaths specific personal property?
- When should I make a will?
- What if there is no will?
- What happens if a person dies without leaving a will?
- Juan Polanco and Isabel Polanco
- Will and Christine Sweat
- Stephen Wiley
- Antonia Guzman
- Dean Cameron
- Stephanie Walker-Doxey
- Eva and Antonio Pulido