When a loved one dies, you have many things to deal with while being in the grieving stage. You must determine what to do with their assets and personal belongings. Laws govern how the estate is handled and distributed.
Probate is the method used to disperse the estate and satisfy any outstanding debts. This legal process can be quite complicated, and it is important to understand how it works and what the requirements are.
Is Probate Required in Mississippi?
Most of the time, probate is required in Mississippi. Small estates may have a more informal version of probate, and there are other cases where probate isn’t necessary. However, for most instances, probate is necessary to distribute the assets of the estate and transfer ownership to the heirs.
How Do You Avoid Probate in Mississippi?
If you want to avoid probate in Mississippi, you need to plan ahead. There are a few things you can do to ensure assets of an estate go to the heir without going through the probate process. The best way to avoid probate is to set up a revocable living trust where all the assets can be included. When the person dies, the estate goes to the named heir of the estate. You can also name beneficiaries for each asset, such as life insurance policies and checking accounts.
Can an Executor of an Estate in Mississippi be Compensated?
Yes, the executor or administrator of an estate may be compensated for their time and any expenses they incur as part of their duties. Their compensation must be reasonable and may vary, depending on how much work was involved.
How Much Does an Executor in Mississippi Get Paid?
The Mississippi Code allows for the administrator to be paid for their time and work. Title 91 states in 7-59 that it cannot exceed five per centum for the amount of the estate that was inventoried. Attorneys’ fees are also allowed as stipulated in the Mississippi Code. The fees must be reasonable, which is determined by the court based on the value of the estate and how much work was involved.
How Long Does Probate Take in Mississippi?
Probate doesn’t have a definite timeline. The time from opening probate to closing can vary widely based on several factors. For instance, the size of the estate will have an impact because it takes time to inventory everything. If the will is contested or other delays occur, it will extend the process. However, it will be at least a minimum of three to four months because creditors have 90 days to submit claims against the estate.
Do All Estates Have to Go Through Probate in Mississippi?
While most estates will go through probate, some can avoid the formal process with a simple affidavit for small estates. If the estate is below a certain dollar value, the heir can present a document to the institution holding the asset which tells that they are the entitled owner of the asset. They must also present a copy of the death certificate. To qualify for this option, the estate must be worth less than $50,000.
Another option is muniment of title, which allows for the transfer of real estate without probate as longas the other personal assets of the decedent is less than $10,000. The judge provides an order that acts in place to a deed to transfer the title.
Does a Will Have to Be Probated in Mississippi?
Yes, a will must be entered into the court records when a person dies. The court is responsible to ensure the wishes of the decedent as expressed in the will are followed. This is the first step in the probate process, but it’s necessary even if probate isn’t required. A petition to open probate may be filed at any time. Mississippi has no deadline for filing probate.
Settling an Estate in Mississippi
Settling an estate in Mississippi is similar to what happens in other states. However, the details may be different, such as timelines and restrictions. It’s important to understand the process whether you are an executor or an heir.
- A petition to open probate is filed with the court. A copy of the death certificate and will must be included. A probate attorney must be hired since the state probate laws requires an attorney for all estates in probate.
- The court will approve the executor or appoint someone if the will didn’t name a person. They receive letters of testamentary to allow them to act on behalf of the estate.
- The executor must publish notice in the local newspaper for creditors for three weeks.
- The executor must take inventory and appraise all valuable assets. They may need to sell some assets to pay creditors.
- The executor is responsible for filing tax returns, paying taxes and other debts.
- Once all debts have been paid, the rest of the estate is dispersed among the heirs and the estate closed.
How Long Do You Have to File Probate After a Death in Mississippi?
According to Title 91 Chapter 7 Section 5 of the Mississippi Code, the court can compel the person who has the will to present it. The person who has the will must file it with the court within 40 days after the person’s death.
Probate Court in Mississippi
Probate court in Mississippi is known as the Chancery Court. Each district has a chancery court, and there are 20 districts in the state. To know which chancery court governs a specific county, you can visit the State of Mississippi Judiciary website: Chancery Courts – State of Mississippi Judiciary (ms.gov). Some districts have only one county while others may cover multiple counties.
Probate Code in Mississippi
Probate in Mississippi is governed by Title 91 of the Mississippi Code. Chapter 7 covers executors and administrators while Chapter 5 focuses on wills and testaments.