No! Even if there is a will, there may not be a need to probate it. There are several instances where probate may not be necessary:
- If the decedent’s estate is entirely composed of non probate assets.
- If a viable probate alternative exists.
Note that “I/Mom/Dad/Sister is not having trouble accessing accounts or having any other trouble” is not a reliable method of determining probate is unnecessary. It is better to get professional advice about the necessity of probate before a decision is made to do nothing…especially if the decedent had a blended family.
What if the decedent died without a will? Unless the decedent’s estate is entirely composed of non probate assets or unless a viable probate alternative exists, an estate administration may be necessary to appoint someone to wrap up the decedent’s affairs, deal with a decedent’s creditors, and collect and distribute a decedent’s assets.