What is Probate?

It’s hard losing a loved one. Grief can reduce us, and make even simple tasks into Herculean efforts. However, when someone dies, that is when the wheels of the law start to turn. Of foremost concern to the family of the deceased is probate, which is the process of making sure a Will is genuine, and then following through on the contents of that Will.

According to The Free Legal Dictionary, the probate process is fairly straightforward. When someone dies, their case goes to a probate court.  If there was a Will, then that Will is entered into evidence, examined, and if found to be both legal and genuine then the instructions in it are typically followed. If someone dies intestate (a term that means they died without a Will to explain their desires for their property) then someone is assigned to deal with that person’s estate according to the laws of descent and distribution.

When it comes to a Will, anyone who has possession of the Will is expected to produce it and provide it to the probate court. This responsibility is typically handled by the deceased’s lawyer, but they are not the only people allowed to do this. Once it has been validated by the probate court, the Will is considered a legal document, and its instructions are followed. A unprobated Will is meaningless, in a legal sense.

Going through the probate process, especially when you’re still grieving, can be difficult. If you need assistance, or representation, all you have to do is contact us today!