Get Answers to Your Questions About Mississippi ProbateOur free Mississippi Probate Guide gives straightforward answers to the questions that most people have about Mississippi probate. Free Mississippi Probate Guide
Common Questions About Mississippi Probate
What is probate?
Probate is a court-supervised legal process for winding up a person’s final affairs. The Mississippi probate process serves the dual purposes of disposing of any claims against the deceased person’s estate and distributing the assets to those who are entitled to them.
Is Mississippi probate required?
That depends on the assets involved and how they are titled. If a person owned assets in his or her name alone that do not automatically pass to someone else at death, probate is usually required. Probate is often needed where real estate and banking or investment accounts are involved.
How much will Mississippi probate cost?
This is not an easy question to answer without more information. If a full probate is required, the Mississippi Chancery Court Rules require an attorney. Attorney fees for probate matters can vary depending on the work involved. See Value Pricing for more information on our approach to attorney's fees.
How long does Mississippi probate take?
Most of our simple estates are closed within 4 to 12 months from the date the attorney is hired. The estate must stay open at least 90 days from the date that notification to creditors is first published. Since it usually takes several weeks to first publish notice to creditors, it would be unusual to close a Mississippi estate in less than 4 months.
Do I need to hire a Mississippi probate attorney?
Unless an alternative to probate applies, the answer is “yes.” Mississippi Uniform Chancery Court Rule 6.1 requires every fiduciary (such as an executor or administrator) to be represented by an attorney unless such fiduciary is an attorney.
Are there any alternatives to Mississippi probate?
Yes! Mississippi law has several alternatives that may help to avoid or shorten the probate process. But these alternatives are not available for every estate. Whether an alternative will apply to your case depends on several factors, including the assets involved and the date of the decedent’s death.
Four Steps to Get You Started
Step 1: Make a List of the Decedent’s Assets
If you are involved in a Mississippi estate, you need to know the assets owned by the decedent, including their location, value, and how they are titled. This information will form the basis of your decisions regarding how (or if) to deal with the estate under Mississippi law.
Step 2: Determine Whether There is a Valid Last Will and Testament
You will also need to know whether there is a valid Last Will and Testament. A valid Last Will and Testament will identify the person who has the first choice of administering the estate and let you know what parties are involved.
Step 3: Make a List of the Names and Addresses Parties Involved
No matter what legal tool you use to resolve Mississippi probate issues, you will need to know the names and addresses of the other parties involved. Save yourself (and the Mississippi probate attorney) some time by putting together a list right away.
Step 4: Talk to a Mississippi Probate Attorney
All Mississippi estates must be represented by a Mississippi probate attorney. Even if this were not a strict legal requirement, it would be a practical one. Mississippi probate is simply not a do-it-yourself project. The courts recognize this and treat attorney’s fees as a necessary expense. As long as there are assets available, the probate attorney’s fees are paid from the estate as an expense of administration.
Since you will need to work with a Mississippi probate attorney, why not involve that attorney early in the process? The choice of which attorney to hire is up to you, so choose a Mississippi probate attorney that you are comfortable with. Be sure that he or she is thoroughly familiar with Mississippi probate law and communicates effectively.
Mississippi Probate Resources
- Is Mississippi Probate Necessary?
- Mississippi Probate Alternatives
- The Mississippi Probate Process
- Mississippi Last Will and Testament
- Intestacy: Dying Without a Will
- How to Probate a Will in Mississippi
- The Role of the Executor
- Mississippi Probate and Real Estate
- Homestead and Spousal Protections
- Mississippi Probate FAQ