Understanding Probate

Probate is the process where the court validates the will of the deceased (Testate), or establishes that the deceased died without a will (Intestate).
Even if you are in possession of the will that distributes the decedent’s estate, the will still must be admitted to probate and the estate of the decedent must be “probated”. This means it goes through a court proceeding that will then administer the estate.

There are generally five reasons for “estate administration”.
  • Determine that the decedent is in fact dead
  • Determine the validity of the will
  • Determine the heirs and devisees of the decedent
  • Settle any claims that creditors may have against the estate of the decedent
  • Distribute the property

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