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Probate is the legal process through which the will of a deceased person is accepted and handled by a court.[1] The probate process includes confirming that the will, paying the deceased person's debts, and distributing the deceased person's money and property as directed by the will.[2] In many jurisdictions the court where probate take place is called a probate court.

The probate process includes the following steps:[3]

  • Filing of the will and opening an estate in the probate court,
  • Giving notice of the probate proceeding to legal heirs, beneficiaries and creditors,
  • Verifying that the will is legal and valid,
  • Figuring out the value of the property in the deceased person's estate,
  • Paying the debts of the estate, including taxes, and
  • Giving the heirs of the estate their inheritances, the gifts that the deceased person left to them in the will.

For people who die without much money or property, many jurisdictions allow simplified probate proceedings that are cheaper and easier to carry out.[4]

References[change | change source]

  1. "The Probate Process". American Bar Association. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  2. "How Probate Works". Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  3. "What is Probate?". Oregon State Bar. Retrieved 14 June 2017.
  4. Collinson, Patrick (21 September 2013). "Probate: avoid a final rip-off when sorting out your loved one's estate". The Guardian. Retrieved 14 June 2017.