Looking at probate advances? If you are supposed to inherit money, you may think the process is instantaneous. However, the average probate process in the United States takes 17 months. Below is an inheritance guide to understand why it is important to know what probate is and the steps that an administrator must take to help probate an estate.
Probate refers to the court-supervised process of administering a deceased person’s estate. However, many estates will have to go through probate. That is true even if a person died without a will. Those who die without a will go through probate, with the court using state intestacy laws to determine how to distribute their assets. If the deceased has a will, the court uses the will to determine how to distribute assets.
The probate process involves several steps.
- First, the personal representative or another interested party submits a death certificate and the will, if the deceased had a will.
- Next, the court initiates the probate procedures.
- The court validates the will. This involves checking to see if the will was properly signed, witnessed, and notarized in accordance with applicable state law.
- The court appoints a personal representative. A deceased can name a personal representative (executor) in the will. If the personal representative declines to serve, or if there is no will, the court can appoint someone else as a representative. The representative has to post a bond.
- The personal representative notifies creditors and beneficiaries that probate is being administered. Creditors have a set time period to submit claims against the estate.
- The personal representative determines the value of the estate by appraising property and assets.
- The personal representative pays valid debts owed by the estate and can also dispute or settle claims for the estate.
- Once all debts are paid, the personal representative distributes assets to the beneficiaries and closes the estate.
As you can see, the probate process can be lengthy, even for simple estates. So, what happens if you need money from the estate before the probate process is complete? The personal representative cannot advance estate funds to beneficiaries. However, beneficiaries can get an advance from an inheritance lender.
An inheritance advance, which may also be known as an estate advance or probate advance, is a way to get estate money before the estate is settled. Rather than a loan, it is an advance on your projected inheritance. The lender is actually purchasing all or part of your interest in the estate. In return, they advance you the sum of money. The lender takes the risk that the inheritance will be smaller than projected, but you pay agree to accept a smaller amount of money than what you would receive if you waited until probate was complete. This can help guide you to your inheritance sooner than you might have thought.