What is Probate?
Probate is the legal proceeding that takes place following one’s death, during the administration of certain portions of the estate are subject to court supervision. The purpose of probate is to provide a legal forum to:
- Verify the validity of the Will (or lack thereof), admitting the Will to the Probate Court, and presiding over any Will contests;
- Appointing an executor or administrator for the estate – this person must be bonded, unless the Will waives the bonding requirement;
- Identifying, inventorying, and appraising the deceased person’s property;
- Notifying creditors of the administration of the estate and giving them a limited time period to present any claims they may have against the estate;
- Supervising payment of the decedent’s debts and taxes and clearing title to assets; and
- Approving the sale of assets (if necessary) and overseeing the final distribution to the lawful beneficiaries.
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