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The process by which a will is authenticated and carried out. That is, probate ensures that the will is in fact the decedent's final wishes and that everyone is receiving what they ought to receive. The executor of the estate usually handles probate, but his/her actions can be challenged in probate court. Some property, notably property co-owned with a spouse, is exempt from probate.


The proof that a will is valid and that its terms are being carried out. Probate is accomplished by an executor/executrix who is paid a fee based on the size of the estate that passes through the will. Certain trusts and jointly owned property pass to beneficiaries without being subject to probate and the attendant fee. See also nonprobate property.


Probate is the process of authenticating, or verifying, your will so that your executor can carry out the wishes you expressed in the document for settling your estate and appointing a guardian for your minor children.

While the probate process can run smoothly if everything is in order, it can also take a long time and cost a great deal of money if your will isn't legally acceptable or it's contested by potential beneficiaries who object to its terms.

If you die without a will, the same court that handles probate resolves what happens to your assets based on the laws of the state where you live through a process known as administration. The larger or more complex your estate is, the greater the potential for delay and expense.


To prove the validity of a will. Probate courts generally oversee decedents' estates, the payment of bills,and the distribution of assets.Some states have exemptions for small estates,which may avoid probate.Other states have no exemptions.Probate will need to be opened in every state in which a decedent owns assets,including real estate,unless there is a specific state exemption.

References in classic literature ?
Tom's uneasiness grew more and more intense under the slow torture of these proceedings.
On the contrary, her plans and proceedings were more and more justified and endeared to her by the general appearances of the next few days.
Her father sat reading at the table; and I, on purpose, had sought a bit of work in some unripped fringes of the window-curtain, keeping my eye steadily fixed on her proceedings.
Malaprop" -and there the theatrical proceedings came to a pause.
But neither the common nor the statute law of that, or of any other nation, ought to be a standard for the proceedings of this, unless previously made its own by legislative adoption.
There are a few passages in the ensuing chapters which may be thought to bear rather bard upon a reverend order of men, the account of whose proceedings in different quarters of the globe-- transmitted to us through their own hands--very generally, and often very deservedly, receives high commendation.
Smith's account of her proceedings at Langford, where he accused her of having made Mr.
Each house may determine the Rules of its Proceedings, punish its Members for disorderly Behavior, and, with the Concurrence of two-thirds, expel a Member.
The affair ended in our going to the State capital, where my father found work as a reporter of legislative proceedings for one of the daily journals, and I was taken into the office as a compositor.
ON our way back I received from the runner some explanation of his apparently unaccountable proceedings in reference to myself.
Among the crowd of ordinary gentlemen, waiting under the portico until the proceedings began, appeared one person of distinction, whose title was "Reverend," and whose name was Mirabel.
Would her Ladyship obje ct to private inquiries into the characters and proceedings of the servants?

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