Depending on the complexity of the estate and the thoroughness with which accounting has been carried out before death, probate can either be a relatively simple task or a daunting one. Be aware that no matter the situation, probate may be a lengthy process often taking months or possibly years to play out, and one which may take a considerable amount of an executor’s time.
To summarize the process, probate can be broken into six basic steps:
Validation of the Will
Pay claims against the estate
Pay estate taxes
Distribute remaining assets
Each of these steps involve legal documentation and validation, and more importantly, proper accounting each step of the way.