Most Commonly Asked Questions About Probate and Estate Administration

Probate and estate administration can be an extensive and stressful process for those seeking to ensure a person’s estate is handled according to their wishes. Even a well-written estate plan can leave you with questions if you are unfamiliar with the probate process (and you’re not alone!). Because of this, you may be coming into the probate and estate administration process with many questions.

Fortunately, the Germany Law Firm is here to guide your case. If you have any questions throughout the estate process, from planning to execution, our team can answer them as thoroughly as possible without bogging you down with unnecessary terminology. We are here to make the estate administration process as easy on you as possible.

How Long Does It Take to Probate a Will?

Probate will take at least a year since creditors have one year from a person’s date of death to file a claim against their estate. The probate process happens when a will goes through the probate court to ensure that it is legally sound and being carried out according to the law.

How Long Does Probate Take If There Is No Will?

Even with a will, probate will take at least one full calendar year.

A will provides guidance on how the estate should be distributed to the surviving family and other beneficiaries. If no will exists, there is no road map to the probate process. This means the courts will have to determine a personal representative, and more which can make the process more expensive and complicated.

What Is Probate and Can You Avoid It?

Probate is in short the process by which the deceased’s estate is reviewed and executed, distributing property to any beneficiaries and heirs listed in the will. This legal process ensures that property, taxes, and debts are all correctly paid and reviewed. This process takes at least one year, and it can be costly, especially if the deceased had significant amounts of debt.

While you may not be able to mitigate probate entirely, having valid estate planning documents, including an up-to-date will and trust, can help avoid a messy probate process.

What If the Personal Representative Does Not Probate the Will?

During the probate process, the personal representative takes on an important role to ensure the probate process happens and that beneficiaries are communicated with properly. However, the personal representative may not have began filing for probate. Likewise, you may be ignored by the personal representative and are unsure what to do.

Failure to file for probate can lead to tax consequences and other financial penalties for the estate in question. If the personal representative continues not to follow the will, you can provide notice to the personal representative that you suspect misconduct. If the dispute continues, you may need an attorney to represent you in the courtroom to hold the personal representative accountable.

How Much Does a Probate Attorney Cost?

The cost of your probate attorney can vary significantly. Some attorneys work on an hourly rate, while others expect a flat fee. This may also come with other fees depending on the complexities of the case, the details of the estate plan, and any urgency that may be needed for the case.

Because of this, there is not typically one singular answer for the question of probate attorney costs. However, we work hard to ensure that all your needs are met when you seek out our team. Throughout the process, you can expect clear and transparent information, ensuring that you have a comprehensive understanding of the services we offer and the costs you can expect from our services before we ever make a move for your claim.

How Much Does an Estate Have to Be Worth to Go Through Probate?

In some cases, you may have a small estate, and you may have an opportunity to avoid probate because of this. In Colorado, if the combined value of your assets is less than $80,000 (YTD as of 2023), you may not be subject to probate with a will. Whether your real estate is only titled in your name can also impact whether your case goes through probate.

Keep in mind, however, that if your estate is larger than this, probate could also be avoided through trusts. Trusts can also provide more and ongoing support to your beneficiaries over time, rather than paying a lump sum after your death. Talk to your estate planning attorney about the options you have for avoiding probate entirely.

How Can an Estate Lawyer Help Me?

Whether you are navigating probate as a family member, or whether you are planning your estate and are concerned about your loved ones, you may have significance concerns about handling your plan correctly. Any mistakes can add time to the probate process, leaving your loved ones without funds for longer. That can be a stressful prospect.

Fortunately, your estate lawyer can help ease the complexity of this process. We can provide specific guidance for your case to ensure that you are taking the right steps for your specific estate plan. They can also ensure that all paperwork is filed appropriately and that your needs and wishes are being made by your estate plan, ensuring that your assets go to the loved ones you want them to go to.

Have Questions? Our Team Is Ready to Answer

During the estate planning process, you may have far more questions than these. In fact, you may still feel overwhelmed, especially if you have a large complex estate to deal with. Fortunately, you can get estate specific answers for your case.

Our team at the Germany Law Firm offers consultations to those in need of specific answers about their claims. Our team is ready to tackle your case and give you the answers you need to move forward and be sure that your family will be taken care of. When you are ready to get the information you need, reach out to our team for consultation by calling or filling out our online contact form.

Contact us to schedule your initial consultation.