If you have a Will does must it go through probate?

I’m trying to determine if we need a Trust. We have a Will.

Asked on March 6, 2019 under Estate Planning, Missouri


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

If an estate doesn’t meet a state’s requirements for probate because it's valued below minimum value (i.e. constitutes a "samll estate") or contains non-probate types of property (i.e. an IRA, 401k, insurance rpoceeds, etc.), then it need not be filed with the probate court.

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 1 year ago | Contributor

Yes, wills must be probated. The probate process is (among other things) the process of validating and enforcing a will, as well as authorizing the distributions of assets or money or property in it. Without going through probate, the will has no force or effect.

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