Since There is a Will, Is Probate Even Necessary?
This question has been raised before in meeting with me after a death: "Since dad had a will when he died, why is it necessary that we go through probate?" Answer: basically, because the law requires it. Even though someone has a will when they die, the probate process is necessary for several reasons and just having a will isn't sufficient by itself to deal the process. For example: Probate establishes that it is a valid will of the deceased . If there are questions about whether the individual had sufficient mental capacity, or was unduly influenced, or if they followed the legal requirements of executing a will. (witnesses, etc.) Probate establishes the will as legally valid. Probate establishes and identifies the assets of the decedent. If you are a beneficiary of an estate, how do you know what you are entitled to receive (I.e, 40% of the estate) if you don't know about all of the assets. Probate requires an inventory to be filed that lists all