What is probate?

  • Probate is a public, judicial procedure during which the judge will apply the law to the facts of the case and sort out the affairs of either someone that has passed away or is otherwise unable to manage their own affairs.


Seems like everyone wants to avoid probate.  Why?

  • Probate is public, expensive, and slow.


How long will it take from start to finish?

  • Depends on exactly what needs to be accomplished.  There are some probate proceedings that last just over a month, but most last approximately nine months, give or take.


How much will probate cost?

  • Simple probate matters may cost around $2,000, but the average is more like $4,000.


The bank said they won’t talk to me until I get Letters / Letters Testamentary / Letters of Administration.  What on earth are they talking about, and can you just shoot me a copy of whatever form I need to fill out?

  • The bank is asking for a court order that gives you the authority to speak on behalf of the estate.  This isn’t a form we can fill out.  It is produced as part of the public court process.


Mom died without many assets.  Do we really need to go through probate?

  • Depends.  If she had a quality estate plan with all assets titled properly, there may not be a need to probate her estate.  Good planning can avoid probate.


I’m worried a sibling or in-law may cause some problems.  Can we prevent them from getting in the middle of all this?

  • A good estate plan is the best strategy.  If that ship has sailed, we can settle disputes by way of a valid settlement agreement.


Dad died years ago and the house is mine now.  I just need to get it put into my name.  Can you help?

  • Yes.  If this is all we need to do, it won’t be too much trouble!


I can’t find a loved one’s original Will. Help!

  • No problem.  We may be able to use a copy of the Will.  If not, we can usually still get things sorted out. 


Mom named me as the Executor in her Will.  What on Earth am I supposed to do?

  • Call us!  There are some things you need to do ASAP, and we will be with you each step of the way.


I just finished sorting everything out after Mom died.  It was a HUGE chore.  How do I make sure my kids don’t have to go through the same headache?

  • Schedule an initial estate planning meeting with us!  We are passionate about CHANGING LIVES THROUGH ESTATE PLANNING ™, and we would love to discuss the possibility of helping you achieve the peace of mind that only comes once you have a professional estate plan.

Probate FAQ