The term, “probate” is scary for many people. They immediately think of courts taking away property or other horror stories that have been misinterpreted over time. The simple definition of probate is the legal process courts use to confirm a Last Will is valid, settle the estate’s debts, and then distribute the assets. A Long Island probate lawyer can attest to the fact that it can be a time-consuming and tedious process. For most families, it can take anywhere from three months to a year to complete the entire process. During this time, beneficiaries don’t have access to the assets or property even though the will designated it should go to them. The probating process requires an executor to settle all the outstanding debts against the estate before the assets are distributed to beneficiaries.