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What is a probate?


Although you may not have thought much about estate planning before, understanding the definition of a probate is a necessary step to organizing your estate. Many people are not fully aware of what this process entails or the importance of it until it has already begun. 

According to Investopedia, a probate is the official process of determining how legitimate a will is. This process is also used for people who have passed away without wills, but that is typically not a common situation. The custodian of the will is the first to act. Once the custodian brings the will before the court or the executor, the official process begins. The process is to determine if the will is a true representation of the person’s last wishes. Other loose ends, such as outstanding debt or income taxes that were due, are also taken care of legally by the executor, who is the person who is in charge of fulfilling the promises of your will. 

However, what would happen if you were to pass away without a will? From there, the estate goes to court. Once the court appoints an administrator, the remaining assets are usually divided up for your living beneficiaries or relatives. This process may either be complex or quick, depending on the amount of laws that affect the estate. Typically, the more time it takes to divide up assets, the more costly it is for those involved. 

It is necessary to completely understand probates if you decide to write a will. 

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