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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 periodicals archive ?
When an estate is created, the probate process begins in a local court.
It takes into account the liquidation values and liquidity of estate assets and the ability of life insurance death benefits to bypass the probate process.
203(1) is designed to "flush out" a potential will contest before the probate process goes too far by providing that if the persons who are likely to have some interest in the validity of the will being offered for probate6 file a caveat, then the proponent of the will must notify them as "interested persons.
Pain: The family must relive their loved one's death throughout the probate process.
Most people associate the probate process with unreasonable delay.
The recovery and brand protection benefits of the probate process - the most effective, customer-centric approach for collecting on deceased debt - have been recognized by creditors and collection agencies for years," said Ron Michalak, vice president of marketing, Forte.
This new legislation will make the necessary changes to ensure there is a direct path to follow in the probate process and will help ensure heirs are better protected.
Clients should remember that annuity contracts are not subject to the potentially expensive and prolonged probate process that may apply to other assets when determining whether to attempt to avoid the non-natural person rule by using a revocable grantor trust entity.
The firm's services ensure families have access to professional drafts for documents such as living trusts, Pour-Over Wills, Powers of Attorney, Advanced Healthcare Directives, and can also assist through the probate process while remaining committed to their loved ones' wishes.
This will ensure that, in the event of unexpected death, assets may be transferred to the designated beneficiaries without going through the costly and time-consuming probate process.