When a person with assets dies in Mississippi and they have made a will, the estate is said to be testate. If there is no will, the estate is intestate and that can complicate matters somewhat depending on the number of potential heirs and the size of the estate. In the case of a will being available, it must “proven”.
Proving a Will is Valid
Probate is the proving that the will is valid. Proving it is valid does include providing the court with a copy of the will attached to the petition to probate. Chancery court is where estates are handled whether there is a will or not. Usually in Chancery Court there is no jury but if a will is being contested there can be a request for a jury filed with the court.
The Rules in Chancery Court
An attorney must be retained by the executor of the will or the administrator of the intestate estate. An administrator is one who is appointed by the court to represent the heirs. The administrator and executor otherwise known as fiduciaries along with the probate attorney must file paperwork on time with regards to listing assets, inventories, appraisals of property, and informing creditors of the passing. They are also charged with dispersing the estate assets within a reasonable amount of time.
These fiduciaries are required to have signatures by bank officials under oath that money and securities of the estate are being kept at that particular bank. The court will also want the fiduciaries and attorney to make sure that all court costs are paid annually. The process of probate does take a fairly long time thanks to these required actions.
At Rushing & Guice, there are experienced probate attorneys who have gone through this process and have been invaluable to executors and administrators many times. They can also help with drawing up wills and estate plans for those who want their heirs to go through as easy a time as possible in Chancery court when that time comes.