Probate is a court-supervised process with respect to the administration of the estate of a deceased person. It specifically resolves all claims and distributes the deceased property under a valid will or the state laws of consanguinity (heirship). Probate provides for the following.
- Protects the instructions of the deceased;
- Confirms either an executor or administrator as the personal representative of the decedent’s estate;
- Protects the interest of heirs and creditors of the estate;
- Provides third persons with the necessary legal assurances relative to dealing with the decedent’s property.
Types of Probate
- Uncontested Probate of a will – probating a will is a simple and cost-effective procedure. It involves a few simple procedures in the Surrogate’s Court
- Contested Probate of a will – these are often difficult and emotional for all involved. When the validity of a will is contested, the procedure becomes adversarial.
- Application for Administration of an Estate – when there is not a will, but there are debts that need to be paid and assets that need to be distributed, an interested person can apply for administration of an Estate.
- Emergency Orders – sometimes a situation may arise that requires a person to obtain an immediate order so the assets of an estate can be preserved, a safety deposit box opened, or funeral expenses paid.