The word probate comes from the Latin verb, Probare, which means “to prove.” Quite literally, probate means to prove the validity of a Will, or to prove a person’s interest in an asset that no longer has a living owner. All of this “proving” is overseen by the court. Probate is a court-supervised proceeding to oversee the distribution of a deceased individual’s assets.
The loss of a loved one is a difficult time for a family and attempting to distribute their estate alone can prove to be unduly burdensome. The probate process is generally either formal, informal or supervised. If there is no Will to determine who is appointed as Executor or Personal Representative and who the rightful heirs are, then the court will appoint an Executor or Personal Representative and determine heirs based on intestacy statutes.
Estate administration involves more than the distribution of assets. It will require dealing with creditors, paying bills, in some instances filing taxes, and locating assets and heirs.
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If you would like to learn more about probate or have questions about probate, please contact us to schedule a free consultation with an experienced probate lawyer. Call 800-248-5120 to reach our office in Maricopa County.