The Probate Process

Probate is a legal procedure where a court oversees the distribution of property of a person who has died. The process begins with someone filing a petition for probate with the court in the county where the person died. The court then appoints someone to take control of the deceased person’s assets, ensure that all debts are properly paid, and distribute the remaining assets to the proper beneficiaries.

When someone dies without a will, their estate and assets are inherited by their next of kin (closest living family members), according to state laws.

American Research Bureau specializes in locating next of kin and proving they are a proper beneficiary. Since 1935, we have successfully connected tens of thousands of heirs with their lawful inheritances.

The Probate Timeline

The length of time needed to complete a probate estate depends on the size and complexity of the estate, local laws, and the schedule of the probate court. Many factors such as the type of assets owned, form of ownership, tax issues, complexity of creditors’ claims, marital property issues, and whether a business is involved can impact the timeline.

American Research Bureau (ARB) has specialized in connecting heirs with their lawful inheritance since 1935. We never contact anyone unless we are confident the individuals we identify are the lawful heirs. We work diligently to make this process go as rapidly and successfully for the lawful heirs as possible.

The graphic below illustrates the timeline of a typical estate administration.