What is Probate?

Probate, also called estate administration, is the judicial process by which a decedent’s assets (his or her estate) are distributed to his or her heirs or other devisees. Probate codes and procedures can vary from state-to-state.

If a decedent had a will, he or she is deemed to have died “testate,” and the will governs

the distribution of his or her assets. If a decedent did not have a will, he or she died “intestate,” and the decedent’s state’s laws of intestacy will determine who will get his or her assets.