If you have ever experienced a family member or friend passing away with you in their last will and testament, then chances are you have been to probate. If you are not familiar with probate, the process can seem foreign. Basically, probate is a court-supervised process where a deceased individual’s last will and testament is authenticated. During probate they will locate and determine the value of the deceased’s assets, pay their final bills and taxes and then distribute the remainder of their estate to those listed as beneficiaries. Learn more about the probate process by reading below.
When Does the Probate Process Occur?
Every state is unique and has a specific set of laws that determine what is required to probate an estate. In the state of Mississippi, probate is typically required if a deceased person passed away with Mississippi assets in their name and those assets don’t pass automatically following the person’s death. In some circumstances there are alternatives to probate that may be applied depending on the case.
Authentication of the Last Will and Testament
In the state of Mississippi, there aren’t any set limitations for probating a will. This means that a will can be admitted to probate despite how much time has passed since the individual’s death. However, the more that time passes, the more likely matters are to be complicated. So, it is best to probate a will as soon as reasonably possible. The petition to open probate of the estate is usually done at the same time.
If the deceased left a will, the judge will confirm that the will is valid. Usually this requires a court hearing where all the beneficiaries on the will must be given a notice. During this hearing, each person has the opportunity to object to the will that has been admitted. Some reasons for objection may be the will isn’t drafted properly or someone may have a will that was written more recently.
If you live out of state and need to probate an estate, chances are you probably don’t have to travel to Mississippi. Most probate matters can be handled without adversarial hearings. In this case, a Mississippi probate attorney will attend on your behalf.
How Long Does the Probate Process Take?
The short answer: it depends on the situation. In Mississippi, the probate process typically takes between four and six months. The more complex an estate is, the longer it can take. Plus, if all interested parties disagree, the process can take even longer. So, matters become more complicated when there are estate taxes, fights amongst the beneficiaries, complex property arrangements and documents aren’t returned promptly or information that is needed isn’t provided.
Do you have more questions about the probate process? Contact the team at Mestayer & Associates. Mestayer & Associates provides civil litigation for clients throughout the Gulf Coast area including Pascagoula, Biloxi, and Gulfport. If you are making future plans for your estate, then contact us today and let us help take care of every detail of your finances. Call us today at 228-762-1193 or visit www.pascagoulalaw.com. We are your legal experts! You can also visit our office located at 2128 Ingalls Ave. in Pascagoula, Mississippi. We look forward to talking with you!
No representation is made that the quality of the legal services to be performed is greater than the quality of legal services performed by other lawyers.
This article does not create an attorney-client relationship. I am licensed to practice law in Mississippi and have based the information presented on US laws. This article is legal information and is for entertainment and informational purposes only and should not be seen as legal advice. You should consult with an attorney before you rely on this information. Any information provided in this blog is accurate and true to the best of my knowledge, but that there may be omissions, errors, or mistakes.