What is a Probate?

Probate (a word derived from the Latin probatum, meaning to prove) is a court-supervised process that takes place after a person dies with the aim of examining his or her estate and its transfer. Probate is handled in specialized probate courts, usually at the state level.

The probate court puts in place several proceedings relating to the deceased’s estate:

Probate Issues
1. It seeks to prove the authenticity of the deceased’s will.
2. It may appoint a representative to handle the affairs of the estate.
3. It inventories the person’s property.
4. It orders the paying of debts and estate taxes.
5. It identifies heirs and/or beneficiaries.
6. If a will exists, the court distributes the estate property according to its instructions.
7. If a will does not exist, property is distributed according to state law.

The process can be very lengthy and costly. Trusts and other estate planning methods are designed to avoid probate, making the transfer of the estate at death an easier process.

*  StateTrust does not provide fiduciary or trustee services, nor does it act as a fiduciary or trustee.  StateTrust only serves as an intermediary in providing introductions to legal counsel and licensed trust companies that can provide fiduciary and trust services.  Our services consist of managing the assets held in such trusts and legal entities.

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