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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.
This article is intended to be helpful and informative. But even common legal matters can become complex and stressful. A qualified probate lawyer can address your particular legal needs, explain the law, and represent you in court. Take the first step now and contact a local probate attorney to discuss your specific legal situation.