The Probate Process
Probate is the court-supervised legal procedure that determines the validity of your will. It affects some, but not all aspects of your estate. Non-probate assets, like a life insurance policy, are paid directly to the beneficiary.
Upon your death, your will is filed with the probate court and its validity determined. All property, debts, and claims of the estate are inventoried and appraised. All valid claims of the estate are collected, and the remainder is distributed to beneficiaries according to the will.
Click on the links below for more information on this particular subject area. Main subject areas for the "Wills & Estates" section are linked at the bottom of these pages.
I’ve heard that probate is expensive, time-consuming, and bureaucratic. True?
How much does probate cost?
What if my estate doesn’t qualify for such simplified probate?
How long does probate take?
What can be done to reduce the costs of probating my estate?