In the movies, they make inheriting money look simple: You get a letter in the mail or a phone call saying that you inherited a certain amount of money from a recently deceased relative, then you deposit the check in your bank account, and then you go on a spending spree. In real life, there are a lot of steps between when the people named as heirs in a deceased person’s will are identified and when the inheritance money reaches their bank accounts. Specifically, the estate must go through probate. Understanding probate estate laws is key to getting through the process in as inexpensively as possible.
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