When is probate needed?

Probate is not always necessary. If the deceased person owned bank accounts or property with another person, the surviving co-owner often will then own that property automatically. If a person dies leaving very few assets, such as personal belongings or household goods, these items can be distributed among the rightful beneficiaries without the supervision of the court. Sometimes probate is needed to:

Establish title to land, stocks and bonds, or large bank  savings and loan accounts that were held in the name of the deceased person only, to be able to realise these assets and transfer them or the proceeds of sale of them to  the rightful beneficiaries.

Collect debts owed to the deceased person.

Settle a dispute between people who claim they are entitled to assets of the deceased person.

Pursue legal claims on behalf of the deceased’s estate.

Resolve any disputes about the validity of the deceased person’s Will.