The court-supervised process whereby a decedent’s assets are distributed to a decedent’s heirs and creditors are paid back after s/he dies. The legal process of administering a decedent’s estate. Also, a judicially supervised process for marshaling a decedent’s assets, paying proper debts, and distributing the remaining assets to heirs. This court process is what is commonly referred to as probate.
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Probate is the process of analyzing and administering an estate’s assets that were previously possessed by a deceased person. When a property owner passes away, his or her assets are frequently examined by a probate court. The probate court makes the final determination regarding asset split and distribution to beneficiaries. Typically, a probate case will begin by determining whether or not the deceased person left a legalized will.« Back to Glossary Index