What Is Probate?

Probate is the process by which the probate court transfers legal title of your assets to the beneficiaries named in your Will. The probate process can take one to several years to complete depending on the complexity of the estate.

  • The Executor named in your Will must file your Will with the probate clerk and adhere to the fiduciary schedule for filing documents with the probate court and the Commissioner of Accounts Office, such as a List of Heirs, a Notice of Probate, an Inventory of the assets held in the estate, and periodic Accountings to report receipts and disbursements of the estate.
  • A probate asset is an asset owned in the decedent’s individual name at death (rather than owned jointly with another person with right of survivorship) for which no beneficiary has been named. 

You can establish a Revocable Trust if you wish to avoid the potential delays and the administration involved with the probate process by allowing your Successor Trustee to distribute your assets directly to your beneficiaries at your death without probate court involvement.