Mississippi Probate FAQ

Important Note: These questions and responses are for general information only.  This firm only provides legal advice to clients who have engaged the firm by signing a written agreement.  Nothing on this website should be considered legal advice as to your specific situation.  For further information, contact a Mississippi probate attorney.

When is probate required in Mississippi? Do I need probate?

Mississippi probate is usually required if a deceased person died with Mississippi assets in his or her name and those assets do not pass automatically at the person’s death.  There are some alternatives to probate that may apply in limited circumstances.

How long does probate take in Mississippi?

It depends.  In the best of circumstances, the Mississippi probate process usually takes 4 to 6 months.  This would only be possible if the estate was fairly simple, all interested parties are agreeable, and documents are signed and returned to the probate attorney in a timely manner.

More complicated estates will take longer.  Complicating factors include estate taxes, fights between beneficiaries, complicated property arrangements, and failure to promptly return documents and provide information.

What are the alternatives to Mississippi probate?

If the person has already passed away, Mississippi provides several alternatives to probate.  Because of the requirements that apply to each of these alternatives, their usefulness is somewhat limited.  See Alternatives to Mississippi Probate.

Do I need a Mississippi probate attorney?  Can I represent the estate myself?

Mississippi court rules require every Mississippi estate to be represented by a Mississippi probate attorney.  So unless you happen to be a Mississippi attorney, you will need to hire one.

I live out-of-state. In order to probate the estate, will I need to travel to Mississippi?

Probably not. In Mississippi, most probate matters can be handled without adversarial hearings.  The Mississippi probate attorney attends these hearings on behalf of the client.  Many of the firms clients are from out-of-state. None have ever had to appear in court.

How long do I have to probate a will in Mississippi?

Unlike some states, Mississippi does not have a statute of limitations for probating a will. This means that a will can technically be admitted to probate regardless of how much time has passed since the decedent’s death. In one case,[1] the court admitted a will to probate even though it had been 23 years since the testator’s death!  But since the passage of time usually complicates the probate proceeding, it’s best not to wait.

I was named as an executor of a Mississippi estate. Am I entitled to payment from the estate for my services?

Mississippi executors and administrators are entitled to a reasonable fee for their services.  Unlike some other states, the amount of the executor’s fee is not based strictly on a percentage of the estate’s value. Instead, the fee must be “reasonable” and must be approved by the court.  To determine whether the fee is reasonable, the court will look to the value and worth of the estate, the difficulty of the duties to discharge, the mechanical work of making out the estate reports, the collection and disbursement of money, and the skill and responsibility involved in the estate administration.


[1] Fatheree v. Lawrence, 33 Miss. 585 (1857).