Probate is the process that transfers legal title of property from the estate of the person who has died (the "decedent") to his or her proper beneficiaries. The term "probate" refers to a "proving" of the existence of a valid Will, or determining who the legal heirs are if there is no Will.

The probate process also provides for the collection of any taxes due by reason of the deceased's death or on the transfer of his or her property. Additionally, it provides a mechanism for payment of outstanding debts owed by the decedent.

More Information

Does All Property Have To Go Through Probate? How Are Estate Creditors Handled? How Are Taxes Handled In Probate? What If There Is No Will? Where Is Probate Handled? Who Is Responsible For Handling The Probate Process?