After you pass away, a single person will be in charge of handing out the inheritance that your beneficiaries receive. Even those who pass without a will would rely on this party to manage their estate properly.
The person in charge
Rather than the probate courts handling your estate themselves, they will look to your will for an executor to take over the duties of dividing and distributing your beneficiaries' inheritance. Who gets the title of executor?
That would be up to either you or your beneficiaries. You can appoint your executor in your will. Otherwise, for those who pass away without a will, your closest family members will appoint an executor. If your family members fail to appoint an executor, the probate court can appoint one.
Your executor could be a beneficiary or a representative from your bank.
How beneficiaries get their inheritance
The executor of your will is charged with managing your entire estate. Their first order of business will be to begin the probate process and notify your beneficiaries of your passing.
Next, the executor will use your estate to pay off your debts. Your beneficiaries' inheritance may be used to pay off your debts. Once all debts are paid, the executor is tasked with making arrangements with the beneficiaries to distribute their inheritances.
When beneficiaries can get their inheritance
The probate process can take as little as six months or as much as a year or more to complete. Inheritance will generally be distributed during this time, but beneficiaries may receive their inheritance throughout many years depending on the testator's estate plan.
One way to distribute assets to beneficiaries over time is by using a trust. There are many different ways to set up your estate plan to meet you and your beneficiaries' unique needs.