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The probate process in Mississippi

On Behalf of | Jul 17, 2023 | Estate Planning & Probate

The probate process is something that many people dread, usually because of hearing that it can be costly and time consuming. While these things may be true in some cases, every situation is different, and it helps to understand the probate process.

The probate process involves several steps. Once you understand each step, the overall probate process can seem much less daunting.

Is probate necessary?

A common question is whether you can avoid probate. There are some ways to avoid probate, such as placing assets in a trust or setting up beneficiaries, but generally there are some pieces of your estate that end up going through probate.

Your “estate” is essentially all your assets that you leave behind after you pass away. The estate goes through probate whether you have a will or not.

If you have a will, your assigned executor is responsible for carrying out the terms of your will through the probate process. If you pass away without a will, an executor is assigned and distributes your estate according to Mississippi probate laws.

Assets and creditors

The probate process usually begins by identifying and valuing all estate assets. Additionally, creditors must be notified of your death, so they have a chance to come forward and request their payments.

You must also publish a notice in local newspapers, so any unknown creditors have a chance to come forward.

Once all creditors have been notified and their claims settled, the assets can be distributed. As you can imagine, this is easier if your will clearly states who you would like to receive which assets.

Handling disputes

Although without a will the assets are distributed according to probate laws, there is a greater chance of dispute among heirs without a valid will in place.

Any disputes are resolved through a court hearing, where a judge listens to arguments and decides how to distribute the remaining assets.

When these steps are complete, any remaining estate costs are paid, and the estate is closed out.