If I have a written Will, will it go to probate?

My uncle has a Will. We would like to avoid probate but have been told his estate will go through probate even though there is a ill. There is a phrase in the Will that reads “residue of my probate estate”. What does that mean? What is probate and how long does probate take? My aunt (his sister) is his only heir. She is named as his personal representative in the Will and the beneficiary of everything he has. They live in the same house. Will she be able to continue living in the home? Will there be any fees incurred once he passes away and this will goes into effect? Court, attorney fees, or otherwise?

Asked on December 14, 2011 under Estate Planning, Missouri

Answers:

Sharon Siegel / Siegel & Siegel, P.C.

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A written will should go through probate.  This is so the creditors have an opportuntity to file a claim against any asset of the estate that may have passed outside of probate.  Reside is all assets of the decedent that are not specifically left to someone.  Probate is the process of admitting the will to probate - offering the will to the court and asking the court appoint to appoint the named executor as executor.  Whether or not she can continue living in his home depends upon how the property is titled in the deed.  Living in the house and owning the house are two seperate things.  For example, someone can have a life estate in the property and another person own it.  If she is his only heir and the property and the property is titled to him, likely she will inherit it.  Court feees, timing, and the like differ by state.


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