The Probate Process: How it Works

The personal affects that a deceased person leaves behind is called his or her estate. This entails everything that the deceased used to own such as money, personal possessions, properties, et cetera. If there are several heirs involved or if there are certain discrepancies with a given will, the will in question can be subject to probate.

Now what, exactly, is probate? Probate is the process with which a person’s estate is managed at the time of passing. The estate is divided between the beneficiaries, as per the instruction of the deceased’s will, and the contents are then determined for their legitimacy. For example, if River has left Sam with, say, a grandfather clock – it is then part of the process to determine if River was, in fact, the legitimate owner of the clock in question.

The thing about probate, however, is that it is hardly ever straightforward. There are some wills that are harder to determine, with contents difficult to deliver. John Keats’ last words and last will and testament were: “My chest of books divide among my friends.” Impressively delivered in perfect iambic pentameter, yes, but in modern context – difficult then to ascertain as to who will get what, then having to determine who are the unnamed “friends”. Not every will is quite so vague but there are instances wherein it can be difficult to determine what goes where.

Another circumstance for which probate is possible is when the state of mind of the deceased could be proven to have been unreliable. Perhaps the person in question was suffering from Alzheimer’s Disease or was under the influence of drugs or blackmail. If there is any reason to believe that the will in question was fulfilled in bad faith, then there could be possible action to call for probate. It is a difficult, stressful process – but sometimes necessary. To learn more about undue influence and nursing home abuse, take a look at the website of the personal injury lawyers in Houston.

In order to find out if there is a need for probate with regard to the last will and testament of a deceased loved on, it is recommended that professional, expert help is sought out immediately.