Can you refuse to probate an estate?

On Behalf of | Sep 13, 2021 | Estate Planning, Probate |

Executors are the people who decide whether or not an Alabama estate gets probated or not. Most of the time, executors have a duty to probate an estate and help the process move as smoothly as possible.

Probate isn’t a mandatory process, but might be a necessary process in order to transfer ownership of assets from the deceased to the beneficiaries. It’s up to the executor to apply for probate if it’s needed and get the estate through it as quick as possible.

When is probate needed?

Probate is considered a tedious part of any estate plan, but it’s a necessary evil most of the time. Probate might be required in the following cases:

  • When there’s no will
  • When there are problems with the will or estate plan
  • If there aren’t any beneficiaries

There are other cases when probate is needed before property or assets can be transferred. This includes if there are debts and creditors that need to be paid off before the beneficiaries can own the assets.

If the deceased didn’t put anyone else’s name on the property, probate might be needed even if that property was addressed in the will. Probate can take a long time to figure out, so most estate plans try to tie up as many loose ends as possible.

What if the executor refuses to start probate?

Executors are named by the deceased in the will or by the state if there’s no will. Since probate can be a necessary process in order to transfer ownership, the executor needs to start probate as soon as possible whenever it’s required.

If the family can prove that the executor is refusing to file probate, then they might have a case for getting the executor removed. Removing the executor might, however, lengthen the probate process.