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What Is Probate: The Concept Defined

By: Josh S. Brown|LRL Writer

Probate DefinitionIn times of death, the immediate family of the deceased will not only have to go through emotional outbreaks but physical exhaustion as well. The wake and the funeral will be their top priority.

After that, have to discuss and take action regarding the estate properties of the deceased. The Last Will and Testament will be handled accordingly as well. These processes are all included in the probate process. In answering the question, what is probate, it is the management and the proper distribution of the deceased estate property. This is usually done by an assigned executor with the assistance of a probate attorney.

A lot of people find it horrid, almost to the point of taboo, to make a Living Will even at a healthy young age. However, making a Living Will is strongly advised for the benefit of those who will be left behind, especially the heirs and benefactors of the testator. Having a Will makes the process of probate will a lot faster and more convenient. It will also prevent conflict within the family regarding who is going to inherit the properties.

There are two kinds of Will that a person can make. The first one, is in written form. The written will should be prepared by a lawyer and should be made in the presence of witnesses. The second type of Will is called holographic. It is written in the handwriting of the testator himself or herself. Witnesses are not necessary in this case as long as there is proof that the Will was made without fraud and on the handwriting of the deceased.

Now that you know what is probate, you should also know its importance. It validates the legality and the authenticity of the Will through a court proceeding. This is the process where in the heir and beneficiaries can legally question the validity of the Will.

It will be the court's final decision as to who will get the properties of the deceased. More often than not, it is the heirs who will receive most of the portion of the Will. After the heirs get their share, then the beneficiaries will get what is left of the properties or assets.

Remember that a Will can be deemed invalid in court when the testator is mentally challenged, when he or she did not follow the formal requisites and when the court find out that the Will is a fraud. When the Will is a fraud, then the death is said to be intestate and the properties will be distributed according to the state law.

The next time someone asks what is probate, you know how to answer.

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