What Is The Point Of Probate?

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What Is The Point Of Probate?

1 June 2023
 Categories: , Blog

The probate process is a fundamental feature of America's system of estate law. A probate court provides the framework for processing a deceased individual's estate. From the outside, though, it's easy to wonder what the point of probate is. Courts want to accomplish the following during probate.

Verifying the Will 

A judge's first goal is to verify whether a person had a will. If a will exists, then the court's next concern is confirming that it has the most recent and honest version of the decedent's last will and testament.

Also, the court will provide public notice that the estate has entered probate. This provides a chance for anyone who has concerns to voice them. Suppose a family member believes that their grandparent's nurse had an undue influence in a late update to the will. That family member could hire a probate law firm and submit their concerns to the court. The probate judge could then assess the available evidence and arguments.

For example, the family member might assert that their grandparent lacked testamentary capacity because they were mentally unwell at the time they changed their will. A judge would then consider whatever evidence does or doesn't support the claim.

Notably, these kinds of probate issues are rare. However, even in boring cases, the court has a duty to verify that it's following a deceased person's last testament as much as possible.


A judge also needs to legally empower the estate's administration. Based on the will, the court will usually appoint the decedent's preferred executor. The executor then must settle the deceased person's debts and taxes. Using the will as a guide, the executor will then distribute the remaining assets to the named beneficiaries. This may include giving titles to properties, writing checks, providing access to accounts, and passing assets into physical possession.

As the executor makes progress in handling the estate, they'll send reports to the court. Especially with complex estates, an executor may hire a probate attorney to help them with the paperwork and any questions from the judge.

One notable function of probate is establishing an administration if there isn't an executor. The deceased might not have named one. Also, they could have named an executor who is unavailable or unwilling to do the job. If the estate doesn't have an executor, the probate court will appoint an administrator to serve the same function.

Once the administration has wrapped things up, they will send a final report to the judge. The court will then finalize the estate and close the books on it.

For more info, consult a probate law firm