The National Directory of Certified Public Accountants

Ask A CPA - Probate

Probate - Definition

Probate is a proceeding in State Court after a person dies. The purpose of Probate is to transfer title to property from the decedent to his or her heirs and to settle any debt liabilities owed by the decedent at the time of death. Probate is completely avoidable, as long as the avoidance is done before death. Generally, Probate is very expensive, with costs of approximately $3,500 for every $100,000 of gross estate. Generally, Probate takes a long time. It takes at least 6 months and frequently 1 to 2 years or more. If the decedent had a Will, the contents of the Will are a public record and anyone can go to the courthouse and find out who is going to get what distribution amount. Speak to your local CPA or attorney for more information.

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