Losing a loved one is a difficult time for every family. It’s sometimes made all the more difficult by the absence of a will or instructions on where property and assets should go. Some assets do not require a will. For instance, a house owned by two parties is automatically inherited by the surviving party. Likewise, any asset with a benefactor already named like a bank account, a retirement plan, or a life insurance policy. But when there is no will or instructions that outline how the deceased’s estate should be broken up for inheritance, the family must go to court and have those items released into their care. This is what’s known as probate court. Here are a few common questions that come up when discussing probate court in Mississippi.
When Is Probate Necessary?
Usually, when a person dies with assets in his or her name and those assets are not automatically transferred by inheritance or joint ownership. Probate is also used when a will is present in order to review and recognize its validity officially. A probate court will also determine if the will’s executor has the right to manage the estate.
What Are The Stages Of Probate?
1. Contacting the Asset Holders: This means the court first informs the banks, pension companies, or insurance providers of the deceased’s death.
2. Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration: If there is a will, you must apply for a Grant of Probate. If there is no will, you’ll apply for Letters of Administration. Both of these are intended to request from the court your authority to administer the estate.
3. Applying for Funds: Once the Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration are finalized, a copy is sent to the asset holders requesting a release of the funds.
4. Distributing the Estate: The funds go first to any outstanding debt the deceased accrued. After that, they are distributed to beneficiaries.
5. Keep the Estate Accounts: Proof of the legal distribution of the deceased’s assets can be requested by the court for up to 20 years. All beneficiaries should receive copies of where the funds went.
How Long Does Probate Take In Mississippi?
For a simple estate, the ideal timeframe is about 4-6 months of arbitration. The larger the estate, the more complex the probate will be. Arguments between the beneficiaries or failures to promptly provide information can cause the process to become longer.
If you have questions about how to begin probate in the state of Mississippi, call The Law Offices of Rusty Willard at (601) 824-9797.