What is "Probate"?

Probate is the court-supervised legal procedure that determines the validity of your will. It affects some, but not all aspects of your estate. Non-probate assets, like a life insurance policy, are paid directly to the beneficiary.

Upon your death, your will is filed with the probate court and its validity determined. All property, debts, and claims of the estate are inventoried and appraised. All valid claims of the estate are collected, and the remainder is distributed to beneficiaries according to the will.

Probate is expensive, time-consuming, and bureaucratic. True?

Probate used to be all that and more, but times have changed and so has the probate process. Today it is seldom as costly and time-consuming as in the past. Kentucky and many other states have adopted alternatives to the probate procedures for families with no real property or with assets of $15,000 or less. These simplified procedures save court fees, attorney’s fees, and executor’s fees.

Our office can help you determine what needs to be done and what does not need to be done to help minimize the cost of probate.

How long does probate take?

The average estate completes the probate process in six to nine months. In Kentucky the estate must be open at least six months.

Contact O'Bryan & O'Bryan to find out more about our Wills & Estates law practice and how we can serve you.

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