Probate is a legal process that occurs after an individual passes away. If there is no Will, the assets will be distributed according to state law.
If a Will does exist, the assets will be distributed according to the terms of the Will. The probate process can take a minimum of three or four months up to a year or more. If a Will is contested or challenged, costs can rapidly escalate. This can also add stress and uncertainty for the rightful heirs.