What Happens If No Probate Is Filed?

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email
What Happens If No Probate Is Filed - Does A Will Have To Be Probated - What If The Executor Does Not Probate The Will - Why Probate A Will

What happens if no probate is filed?

This article is coving the consequences of not probating a will. 

They involve litigation, criminal charges, fines, and even jail time. 

To learn what happens if no probate is filed, keep reading. 

Table of Contents

When the courts appoint an administrator to an estate, they can choose anyone. This includes creditors or third-party companies. Meaning you and your family lose all control over the estate.

If you want to create a will for your estate or file a petition to become the administrator of an estate, fill out the form below for a free consultation.

Get A FREE Consultation!
We run out of free consultations every month. Sign up to make sure you get your free consultation. (Free $350 value.)

An Overview For What Happens If No Probate Is Filed

This section is an overview for what happens if no probate is filed. 

It covers topics like:

  • what does probating a will mean
  • why would you want to probate a will
  • does a will even have to get probated

The next section covers exactly what happens if no probate is filed. 

What Does Probate A Will Mean?

Probate a will means that the will gets validated and the estate gets distributed per the will. 

Probate gives the executor the authority to gather and distribute the assets in the estate. 

Probating a will includes paying off debts and creditors. 

And giving the remaining assets to the beneficiaries of the estate. 

Why Probate A Will?

Wondering why probate a will? 

The will outlines how the decedent wanted their estate to get distributed. 

If you don’t probate a will, the estate gets distributed per the intestacy laws in that state. 

For some states, a spouse dying means that the surviving spouse gets everything. 

In other states, the kids get 50% and the surviving spouse gets 50%. 

Some spouses want to ensure that their surviving spouse is financially taken care of. 

So, they create a will to ensure that their surviving spouse gets 100%. 

Related: Difference Between Executor and Trustee

Does A Will Have To Be Probated?

Does a will have to be probated – it depends

Some states legally require a will to get probated. 

Some states don’t require you to probate a will. 

But all states require the estate to go through probate to transfer assets. 

Without probate, the estate will not transfer from the decedent’s name to the beneficiaries. 

Consequences Of Not Probating A Will - How Long Do You Have To File Probate After Death - What Does Probate A Will Mean

What Happens If No Probate Is Filed?

Let’s talk about what happens if no probate is filed

  • Legal Title To Assets Can Be Clouded
  • Legal Claims Against The Executor

Legal Title To Assets Can Be Clouded

When someone passes away, the property is still in their name

If no probate is filed, then the property will not get transferred to the beneficiaries. 

This is because, when probate is filed, it transfers title from the decedent’s name to the beneficiaries’ names.

“Property” includes cars, houses, retirement accounts, rentals, investments, and bank accounts.

And these properties cannot get passed on to the beneficiaries if no probate is filed. 

This means that the property will remain in the decedent’s name

The beneficiaries will not be able to sell, keep insurance, or maintain registration on these properties.

Legal Claims Against Executor

When probate is filed, property gets distributed to the appropriate beneficiaries and creditors. 

But what if no probate is filed? 

Then the heirs and creditors will not receive what is legally theirs

When probate is not filed, this gives them the right to file a civil lawsuit against the executor

The executor will be personally liable to repay the heir and creditors for their losses.

This is because it’s the executor’s responsibility to file probate on the estate. 

Next, let’s talk about how long do you have to file probate after death.

How Long Do You Have To File Probate After Death?

How long you have to file probate after death depends on the state that you live in. 

Most states give you 10-90 days to file probate after death. 

Consequences Of Not Probating A Will

We’ve chatted about what happens if no probate is filed. 

But what are the consequences of not probating a will

You could be facing: 

  • criminal charges
  • civil litigation
  • inheritance losses 

Criminal Charges If No Probate Is Filed

You’re only going to be facing criminal charges if no probate is filed for your personal gain. 

Let’s say that your mom left 50% of the inheritance to your weird cousin in her will

But the intestacy laws say that you will get 100% of her estate. 

So, you don’t probate the will for your own personal gain. 

That will most likely lead to criminal charges

Related: What An Executor Cannot Do

Civil Litigation If No Probate Is Filed

There are litigation consequences if no probate is filed

The beneficiaries can file a lawsuit against the executor for losses. 

And the executor will get help financially responsible for their heir’s losses. 

This is true if these losses could have been avoided

Losses coming from no probate getting filed includes:

Investment losses include the executor not filing the probate and the market crashing. 

Investments include things like a 401k, Roth IRA, rentals, or other investments. 

Let’s say the 401k is worth $100,000 when the person passes away. 

And the executor takes 2 years to file probate. 

But within those two years, the market crashes 50%, leaving the 401k to be worth $50,000. 

Since the executor did not file probate in a timely manner, they may be liable for that loss

Creditors can also file a lawsuit against the executor as a consequence of not probating a will.

Creditors have a claim to the estate to pay back debts.

If an executor is not probating a will, they are denying the creditors what they are owed.

Inheritance Losses If No Probate Is Filed

Inheritance losses are also what happens if no probate is filed. 

Without probate, you will not be able to transfer the title of assets that are in the decedent’s name. 

This is what “clouded title” refers to. 

The descendant’s property will have a cloudy title until the estate gets probated.

When you sell property, the person on the title has to sign over the rights.

When a person passes away, probate transfers title from the descendent to the beneficiaries.

If the property is still in the decedent’s name, they are unable to sign.

So, the property remains in limbo until the beneficiaries get on the title.

After probate, the beneficiaries will be on title.

After this, they can sell the property.

Related: How To File A Will

What Happens If No Probate Is Filed: FAQs

These are a couple of FAQs we get on the topic of what happens if not probate is filed.

Does An Estate Have To Go Through Probate If There Is A Will?

There is no legal requirement that an estate has to go through probate if there is a will. 

But there is no way for the beneficiaries to obtain ownership of the estate without probate. 

(Unless the estate was arranged to avoid probate.)

Related: How To Get Power Of Attorney

Do You Have To Go To Probate Court When Someone Dies?

You do not always have to go to probate court when someone dies. 

If a property was owned jointly, the surviving owner does not need to go to probate court. 

The property will automatically go to the survivor in most cases. 

Another way to avoid probate is if the property is in a trust

But let’s say the property was owned solely by the decedent.

Then you have to go to probate court when someone dies. 

What If No One Wants To Be Executor Of An Estate?

If no one wants to be the executor of an estate, then the courts will appoint an executor. 

Let’s say that the will designated an executor and they don’t want to be the executor. 

In that case, the courts will not appoint that person as the executor of the estate. 

Instead, they will ask the remaining beneficiaries or a close relative to be the executor. 

But what if no one wants to be the executor of an estate from the family?

Then the courts will appoint a 3rd party person to act as the executor of the estate. 

This person is referred to as an ‘Administrator.’

What Happens If No Probate Is Filed?

If you want the best probate attorneys to represent you, fill out the form below.

We have the experience needed to ensure that your rights are protected.

This means that you don’t wrongfully lose assets to creditors.

We also make sure that the probate process is smooth and fair.

This means you don’t get raked over the coals financially.

After you fill out the form below, we will set up your free consultation.

Talk soon.

Get Your FREE Consultation!
Get access to our attorneys with a FREE consultation ($397 value).
Share This Post With Someone Who Needs To See It
Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on email