What happens if you don't probate a will?
Typically, when a person dies with a will, they have an executor who was named in the will. This person is responsible for being sure that the deceased’s money and property is given to the right people and the debts are paid.
Once a person passes away, the executor should file the will in court to start the probate process. We have seen that from time to time that an executor will die first. Or, the executor is incapacitated and cannot act as executor. What will happen then?
Most states require anyone in possession of an original, signed will to take it to the court in the county where the person died. If a will is never filed, the estate could be open to a lawsuit. If a beneficiary in the will is hurt financially by the failure of the will being filed with the courts, that person can sue the estate.
Remember, probate is not always necessary. If the person left behind nothing of real value, or the assets were in a joint account at the time of death, probate is not required.
Consult with an attorney if you need more information on the probate process. Read more about the probate process here.
Kevin Miller is an Oklahoma City attorney that has more than 30 years of experience as a probate, elder law, and estate planning attorney. Kevin will guide you through the process of revising and updating your will, trust, advance directive, and power of attorney documents. Kevin is motivated to help all families in Oklahoma City get the proper estate planning documents in place long before they need them.
We are here to help.