What is Probate?
Probate is the legal process that is used to distribute a person’s property after their death.  If the person died with a will, it is presented (or admitted) to the court and proved as valid.  The personal representative is appointed.  He/she inventories and values the deceased’s property, pays any debts and taxes, and distributes assets to the beneficiaries.    If the person died without a will, the process is much the same.  However, the state’s rules of intestate succession will govern who inherits the decedent’s property.