Do I Need to Probate a Will if I am the Only Beneficiary?
The answer is, “it depends.”
If you are the beneficiary of a will, you may need to probate the will if:
- The decedent had unpaid debts.
- The probate estate includes a bank or other financial account and the bank or financial institution will not release the funds without a probate.
- The probate estate includes a partial interest in real estate and you need clear title to the real estate.
- There is a likelihood or even possibility that someone may challenge the terms of the will now or in the future.
- The estate needs to sue another party (such as bringing a wrongful death claim) or is likely to get sued (such as litigation involving a business owned by the decedent).
- The estate is large enough to trigger an estate tax liability.