What is probate? 34 Answers as of October 12, 2012

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Richard M. Gee, a PC
Richard M. Gee, a PC | Richard M. Gee
Probate is the court procedure by which a will is proved to be the last will and testament of the deceased person (or if there is no will, then it proves who the heirs at law of the deceased person are), an estate is administered and distributed after death.
Answer Applies to: Colorado
Replied: 10/12/2012
Leonard A. Kaanta, P.C. | Leonard A. Kaanta
Probate is the process of changing ownership from a dead person to an alive person.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/11/2012
Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski
Law Offices of Gerald A. Bagazinski | Gerald A. Bagazinski
Probate is a court supervised process needed to orderly transfer title of the decedents assets to the heirs. The personal representative is given broad powers to wrap the decedent's affairs up including paying for the funeral bill, paying debt and taxes, selling real estate and closing accounts. The reason it is necessary is because financial institutions and title companies need to be able to rely on some mechanism that they can rely on before they release the assets. If you have any questions, please contact me.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/11/2012
Neil J. Lehto, Esq.
Neil J. Lehto, Esq. | Neil J. Lehto
Probate is the Michigan court with jurisdiction over a variety of family matters, including decedent's estates, mental health commitments and juvenile justice. Many people refer to the administration of wills under the supervision of the Probate Court as probating the will.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 10/11/2012
The Law Office of Eric J Smith
The Law Office of Eric J Smith | Eric Smith
When someone passes away, they can no longer own real or personal property (you really can't take it with you). Probate is the legal process which determines where the deceased person's property goes. If there is a will, an interested party can file with will in a probate proceeding in order to give the executor named in its authority. If no will is present, an interested party can file an application for intestate administration or a determination of heirship. Generally in Texas, interested persons have 4 years from the date of death to file a probate application.
Answer Applies to: Texas
Replied: 10/11/2012
    Martinson & Beason, PC
    Martinson & Beason, PC | Douglas C Martinson II
    Probate means "prove" and probating a will is the process where you prove a will is the actually true Last Will and Testament, who the heirs at law are (spouse, children, etc) and if there are any debts of the estate.
    Answer Applies to: Alabama
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    Probate is the court process of distributing a deceased person's estate, according to a will or if no will was left pursuant to Florida Statutes. The courts are interested in ensuring that all creditors are paid prior to the distribution of the assets.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks
    Law Offices of Terrell Monks | Terrell Monks
    Probate is the legal process whereby a person is appointed by the Court to manage the final affairs of the deceased person. In Oklahoma a Personal Representative is appointed by the Court to gather the decedent's assets, give notice to creditors, pay bills, report on the financial affairs to the court and generally follow the law of distribution and/or the Last Will and Testament. The Personal Representative may sell property, pursue lawsuits, file tax returns, and almost anything necessary to wrap up the affairs of the deceased person.
    Answer Applies to: Oklahoma
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
    Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
    Probate is the process of submitting a Will to court and petitioning to administer the estate. The person named in the will as "personal representative" is appointed to that job by the court, and then is to gather all the decedent's assets, determine the decedent's debts and taxes, pay the debts and taxes, and distribute the remainder as set out in the will. That's the telegram version of course, there are a million possible wrinkles, but that's the basic process.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG
    LAW OFFICE OF ROBERT I LONG | Robert I. Long
    Probate is a court procedure. If someone dies with assets that would need their signature to pass them on to their heirs or the beneficiaries named in their Will, probate is the process by which the court essentially "signs" for the deceased person. If all the property is in a trust or passes automatically such as through joint ownership or designated beneficiary, then a probate is not needed.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    Horn & Johnsen SC
    Horn & Johnsen SC | Dera L. Johnsen-Tracy
    Death probate is a court proceeding that serves two primary purposes: 1) to make sure the creditors of a deceased person get paid, and 2) to transfer assets from the name of a deceased person to his or her heirs, or to his or her beneficiaries who are specifically are named in a valid will. Many people are under the impression that a probate is not necessary if the decedent had a will. However, this is not correct. In fact, generally, the only way to legally execute the terms of a person's are will is through the death probate process. Those assets that are held in the name of a valid living trust, that are transferred through joint tenancy (i.e., real estate or a bank account that is titled in the name of two or more individuals, as joint tenants), that have payable on death designations (i.e., a bank account with a "POD" designation), and that are transferred through other direct beneficiary designations (i.e., life insurance and IRA accounts with named beneficiaries) will generally pass outside of probate - and also directly to the named individuals, despite the terms of the decedent's will. However, any other assets that were titled in the name of the decedent at the time of death are generally subject to some form of probate. Essentially, such assets will be "frozen" until a court order is obtained granting a named individual (the "personal representative" or "executor" of the estate) with legal authority to manage the assets during the administration process. The only place to find this court order is in probate court. The probate process can be complicated, and often requires the services of a qualified probate attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Wisconsin
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A.
    The Law Offices of Laurie E. Ohall, P.A. | Laurie E. Ohall
    Probate is the court process by which title to the decedent's assets are transferred to the heirs or beneficiaries. If the decedent has a will, the probate is testate, and the will dictates who gets the assets and who gets to serve as the personal representative (also referred to as the executor) of the estate. The P.R. is the person who administers the estate (gathers the assets, pays off any creditors and distributes assets to the beneficiaries). If the decedent dies without a will, the probate is intestate, and the state of Florida has statutes that say who is entitled to inherit the assets of the decedent and who has priority to serve as the P.R. The court appoints the P.R. once a petition is filed with the court to open the probate.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    Probate is the procedure by which the probate court oversees the someone's estate and allows it to be administered properly, collected, distributed to the rightful creditors and heirs and then finally closed. It can be long complicated or easy but it can be expensive.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    Probate is the process by which a person's estate is settled (distributed) after his or her death. Usually the legal issues are heard by a special court the Probate Court. It ensures that an executor or personal representative is appointed to close the estate, that all final expenses are paid, that creditors get what's owed, and that the heirs receive their property in a timely manner.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 10/11/2012
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire
    Neal M. Rimer, Esquire | Neal M. Rimer
    Probate is a term that is used in several different ways. Probate can refer to the act of presenting a will to a court officer for filing * such as, to "probate" a will. But in a more general sense, probate refers to the method by which your estate is administered and processed through the legal system after you die. If you have a valid will, then your will determines how your estate is transferred during probate and to whom. If you don't have a will, or if you die partially intestate, where only part of your estate is covered by a valid will, the laws where you live specify who gets what parts of your estate. The probate process helps you transfer your estate in an orderly and supervised manner. Your estate must be dispersed in a certain manner (your debts and taxes paid before your beneficiaries receive their inheritance, for example).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Probate is the administration of a deceased's estate with a will or no will, generally consisting of real property and personal property to those who are entitled to receive from the estate, such as heirs, charities, or other individuals.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    David T. McAndrew, Attorney at Law | David T. McAndrew
    Good Question: Probate is a verb: The process of administering a decedent?s estate, when they die with a will, or without a will. Probate is an adjective: Describing the Court, or the documents that are filed in that court. (Probate forms) This is only in respect to decedent?s property. The Probate Court?s responsibilities and authority are much broader and deal with many more areas of children and protected adults also.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Law Offices of Frances Headley | Frances Headley
    Probate is the court action that transfers the decedent's property to their heirs. It is necessary for anyone with a will or if they do not have any estate plan at all, unless their entire estate is worth less than $100,000.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
    Probate is the process of the court giving someone legal authority to transfer title to a deceased person's assets. If someone dies with assets titled in their name alone, (no joint owner or beneficiary designated), no one legally has authority to do anything. The court appoints someone, (in Michigan, we call them personal representatives; other states call them executors), and gives them "letters of authority," which is literally the authority to transfer title. I have a detailed description of the probate process posted on my website, if you have additional questions.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Doland & Fraade | Michael Doland
    Probate is a court procedure whereby the provisions of a will are carried out ("executed" in legal jargon) It is required for transfer of real property and estates over a certain size.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC
    THE BROOME LAW FIRM, LLC | Barry D. Broome
    Probate is the legal process of proving a Will and transferring property upon the death of a person. Barry Your financial plan is not complete until it is co-ordinated with your estate plan. Will your family be provided for when you are gone? Without a Will, the court will decide.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Christensen Corbett & Pankratz
    Christensen Corbett & Pankratz | Craig L. Pankratz
    Probate is the procedure through which the estate of a deceased person is distributed.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Thompson Ostler & Olsen dba Franchise Business Law Group | Brooke Ashton
    Probate is a necessary part of the process used to legally transfer property/assets from a deceased person to that person's beneficiary. Essentially, the court determines who has the legal authority to act as the personal representative for the deceased and grants that person the power to deal with the affairs of the deceased person.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Bullivant Houser Bailey PC
    Bullivant Houser Bailey PC | Darin Christensen
    Probate is a court supervised procedure to marshal the assets of a decedent, pay the decedent's bills, and distribute any remaining assets to the decedent's heirs.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    TrustCounsel | Gregory Herman-Giddens
    The court-supervised process of verifying a will, collecting assets of the decedent, paying debts, and distributing assets to the beneficiaries/heirs. There are many requirements, such as filing an inventory and accountings with the court. Depending on the size and complexity of the estate, it can be expensive, time consuming, and frustrating.
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Edward L. Armstrong, P.C. | Edward L. Armstrong
    Probate is the legal process of authenticating a decedent's will and determining his or her legal heirs.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Whiteford, Taylor, & Preston | Edwin Fee
    Probate is the process in which the will is received by the Register of Wills and the personal representative of the estate is appointed. An estate may be administered in several ways, depending upon the size of the estate and who the beneficiaries are. If you have more specific questions, you may contact the Register of Wills or an attorney.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Victor Varga | Victor Varga
    Probate is the first step in the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person's property under a will. A probate court decides the legal validity of a testator's will and grants its approval by granting probate to the executor. The probated will becomes a legal document that may be enforced by the executor in the law-courts if necessary. A probate also officially appoints the executor (or personal representative), generally named in the will, as having legal power to dispose of the testator's assets in the manner specified in the will.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C.
    O'Keefe Legal Services, L.L.C. | Sean P. O'Keefe
    In Maryland, probate is the process of administering an estate through the orphans' court (and register of wills), to distribute and dispose of the deceased person's property, deal with creditor claims, potential tax, etc.
    Answer Applies to: Maryland
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    LAW OFFICE OF JASMINE OHANIAN | JASMINE OHANIAN
    When someone dies without a will or a trust, the case goes through probate where the court will decide who gets what. You can avoid probate if you have a valid will and/or a trust before death. People want to avoid probate because it's costly and will cause delay.Note: No information provided should be relied on as legal advice. You are not a client of this firm unless you keep a copy of a retainer executed by both you and an attorney of this firm.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Ben T. Liu Law Office
    Ben T. Liu Law Office | Ben T. Liu
    It is the court process in which the will of a dead person is proved and administered.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    It is a court process that administers a deceased's persons assets, addresses creditors and ultimately passes assets to beneficiaries.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Grant Morris Dodds | Mark Dodds
    Probate is a court-controlled process which allows for the transfer of assets from the name of a deceased person to the heirs of the deceased person. Because a deceased person can no longer transfer property, the probate process gives authority to the personal representative of the estate to transfer valid title and ownership to the persons entitled to inherit from the estate of the deceased.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 10/10/2012
    Brad Micklin | Brad Micklin
    It is the process that allows a court to know someone has died so that the court and the appropriate representative for the estate can distribute the person's assets.
    Answer Applies to: New Jersey
    Replied: 10/10/2012
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