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Probating a will: What does this all mean?

What does it mean to probate a will? A will goes through probate court to ensure that the will is administered properly and that all assets of the estate are dispersed properly. A probate judge oversees the disposal of property and settles any disputes that might arise between heirs of the will.

Does a will have to go through probate?

The answer is yes. When the testator of a will becomes deceased, the will must be filed with the probate court. It should be filed in the county where the deceased was living. If the will is not already in the possession of an attorney, you can either file it with the probate court yourself or take it to an attorney to file for you. Anyone in possession of a will must produce it.

Do I have to have an attorney to probate a will?

Not necessarily, but it is best to have one. A probate judge is not allowed to provide any advisement to you on the laws of probate, nor can he or she provide or help you fill out forms. Anyone unfamiliar with probate law would probably be much better off with an attorney. An attorney can ensure that your best interests are taken into consideration during the probate process and answer any questions the judge may have. They can also speak on your behalf if a dispute arises. Disputes can quickly put a halt on disposal of assets and then drag out for months after.

At Landrum & Shouse LLP, we will help you as your loved one's will moves through court. To learn more, simply visit our website.

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