Asked & Answered: What is Probate?

You may have heard of the illusive term of “probate”. I hear people use the term in my business quite frequently, but often it sounds like the person who is using the term isn’t quite exactly sure what it is.  I have had people lead conversations with “How do I avoid probate?”, but they are not quite sure what it is that they are trying to avoid — or the why. It is completely understandable too. Most people are not confronted with probate on a regular basis. Most of the time you are only facing probate when someone in your family or a close friend has passed away, it isn't a frequent occurrence people tend to face. That is why I am here. To help clear the cob webs, and maybe even walk through the process with you. 

Probate at its most basic definition is the court process we go through to allow us to transfer assets from the name of the deceased person to the name of their beneficiaries or heirs. 

To dive in a bit deeper, it’s the court process we go through to prove a Will is valid and ask the court to appoint the Executor to carry out the wishes of the deceased person as stated in the Will.  This means having a validly executed Will will not help you avoid probate. 

The next question then is:  What does the probate process look like? Check out next month’s article in the Asked & Answered series to find out!