Probate is the manner and method in which the estate of the deceased is processed through the legal system. The estate is defined as all belongings, assets, and debts. The function of probate is to settle debts owed and transfer remaining assets to beneficiaries.
All estates must go through probate regardless of the presence or absence of a will. The difference will be how the estate is dispersed. If there is a will, and it is deemed valid and binding, the estate will be distributed according to the deceased’s wishes. If there is not a will, or it is deemed invalid, the estate will be distributed according to the laws of the state.
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