What is a Probate Proceeding?
In a probate proceeding, the court oversees the process of identifying the deceased person's property, paying any debts, identifying the proper heirs, and distributing the property to them. Most of the actual work is done by a personal representative, who is usually a relative or friend of the deceased person, with the assistance of an attorney and often an accountant and possibly one or more appraisers. The generic term "personal representative" has replaced such terms as executor, executrix, administrator and administratrix for the purposes of these FAQs.
The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.
Additional Probate and Estate Administration Articles
- How can a Probate Attorney Help Me?
- What is a Probate Court?
- How are Probate Assets Distributed in a Probate Proceeding?
- Who is in Charge of Administering the Estate?
- What does the Personal Representative Do?
- Who (or What) can be a Personal Representative?
- How are Personal Representatives Selected by the Court?
- Does the Personal Representative Need an Attorney?
- What Documents Does a Personal Representative Need to Start Probate?
- What Fees are Generally Involved with Probate?
- What is Probate Litigation?