Probate is the legal process through which a deceased person's estate is properly distributed to heirs and designated beneficiaries. Probate property is typically realized at fair market value and the proceeds distributed according to a person's last will and testament. Unless the person has died without a will, in which case lawyers will determine what happens by probate.
Probate can easily be avoided by getting a professionally prepared estate plan. This can include a living trust and/or a properly executed last will and testament. Probate and its issues begin when a person dies without leaving a clearly stated intention as to what is to be done with his or her assets.
Sadness over the late persons death is bad enough without extreme frustration over regulations and court procedures. Add the old enemy money to this volatile situation, plus a touch of family greed/attitude, and you now have the perfect the recipe for factional war and generational feuds to be created.
And once probate is required there is little the heirs can do to change this!
You can have whatever attitude you like to lawyers and regulations. But once the circumstances of a family members death dictate probate, you will be part of a strict legal process in which you will have very little control.
The largest asset to be disposed of when a person dies suddenly without a will is typically a home. If there are additional persons listed as joint owners of the house and they do have their name included on the house title deed they are allowed to sell the house during probate. However it is imperative they work with an estate agent who is experienced in selling houses in probate. There are numerous legal requirements, which include fair market value, the amount of escrow deposit, the closing process through the courts, and more!
So what can you do and what attitude do you need to have?
First: acceptance is the key to working through a successful probate. You can not change the law, but you can work with experts who understand its processes. Sadly the deceased is not present to represent their intentions. Which means that the "system" is going to follow its established path to determine who is to receive what?
Second: be proactive. There may be process to follow, but there is no need to allow them to lead you. Get ahead. Pick people to work with who know the law. And there is no reason that you will not be part of finding the late persons desires. Which one assumes includes you?
Third: get help from professional professionals. This is no time to try and save monies by going it alone. And if you work with professionals who care, particularly when it come to selling the house for top dollar in its market, you will find caring people who will work with you to take the loss of a loved one and find the good in your situation.
This is truly a situation where most do reap what they sow! Approach probate with greed and #1 in mind and it is unlikely that the late persons representative will have much time for you. Approach probate with a sincere desire to find what the deceased wanted for his/her loved ones, and you can expect to experience their sincere love for you too.