Must all wills go through probate court?

I thought this was the whole idea of a will in the first place, to make everything plain and simple, and so everyone will know what goes to who. I understand if there is a dispute, but if everyone is in agreement with the will, why have to go through this? A will is a legal document, that is the point.

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    5 Responses to “Must all wills go through probate court?”

    1. MLaw Says:

      Wills to not transfer legal title to property. Only court orders can do so. The will simply tells the court what the deceased’s wishes were. Not all wills must be probated. If there are no assets or minimal personal property & everyone agrees to disposition things can often be taken care of without a will. Many states have abbreviated procedures for small estates. But if there is real estate; claims against the estate; possible taxes due; minor beneficiaries; charitable bequests, & the like, you have to go thru the court.

    2. Res Gestae Says:

      If EVERYONE is willing to voluntarily abide by the Will, it still doesn’t change the fact that only a Court can order the re-titling and transfer of real and personal property. Probate is a process by which the Will (if applicable) is given effect and the Decedent’s last wishes are carried out.

    3. Uh huh, go on I'm listening Says:

      If the deceased had their will through an attorney, then yes probate is almost always a guarantee… That is how the attorney gets their pay, typically 3% of the estate.

    4. bud68 Says:

      No, the purpose of the will is NOT to avoid probate. It is too ensure that the probate process goes the way the deceased person intended.

    5. Mr Placid Says:

      Two things:

      1. Some states have statutes that allow for expedited disposition of assets without requiring probate. in California, for instance, an executor may use an affidavit to distribute assets of an estate, without probating the will, provided the total value of probatable assets is less than $50,000, and no real estate is involved.

      2. You can also designate beneficiaries for your bank and brokerage accounts. These are often called transfer-on-death (TOD) agreements. When you die, the assets of the account will go to the beneficiaries, without requiring probate. You can also title real property in such a way that title will transfer upon your death, without probate.