If you are setting up an estate plan, there are a lot of factors to consider, from dividing assets among loved ones and identifying the best type of estate plan. Sometimes, people aim to avoid the probate process, while others understand that their loved ones will have to work through probate after they die. Either way, it is important to understand how probate works and some of the different issues that are resolved in probate court. 

By understanding how probate works, people often have the ability to make life easier for their loved ones down the road. 

Understanding how probate works

On their website, the Judicial Council of California provides helpful information on the probate process. During probate, the court will determine whether a valid will exists and identify the beneficiaries. The probate process also entails determining the value of a decedent’s property and managing various financial obligations. Finally, assets are distributed among beneficiaries. 

Understanding how long probate takes

The court will appoint an executor or administrator to gather assets, distribute assets and handle various estate-related expenses. Sometimes, the probate process is relatively straightforward, while other cases are very complex. If beneficiaries disagree on key matters and a probate dispute surfaces, the process is often more time-consuming. Often, probate cases last from nine months to 1.5 years, but some cases are far lengthier. 

For many families, probate is very time-consuming, stressful and even costly. As a result, it is crucial to look into strategies to make life easier for your loved ones in the future, and this sometimes involves avoiding probate altogether.