Probate refers to the court-supervised process of sorting out a person's final affairs. A will generally lays out how the person's assets should be distributed upon death, but when a person dies without a will, the courts are often left to distribute what remains within a person's estate. This section contains information and resources on probate basics, including an overview of the probate process, an article explaining probate fees, a questionnaire to help you prepare to meet with a probate attorney, and a listing of state probate courts and laws. Select from the list of titles below to get started.
- The Basics of Probate
A broad look at probate law and process. This article provides an introduction to probate administration, the steps of the probate process, and why it’s preferable to have a will.
- Probate Overview
A number of articles and resources explaining the basics of probate law. Learn about how the probate process works, the different types of probate, and why you may want to avoid probate.
- Avoiding the Probate Process
The probate process can be expensive and time-consuming. This article explains the benefits of avoiding probate as well as a number of tips to help you pass on property outside of the probate process.
- Probate Courts & Laws
Each state has its own laws and courts dealing with probate and estate administration. Find your state’s laws to learn about the applicable requirements, procedures, filing fees, courts, and more.
- Intake Questionnaire: Initial Meeting with a Probate Lawyer
In order to prepare your case, your attorney will need to collect information about your personal and financial lives. This questionnaire will help you organize your information before meeting with a probate attorney.
- How to Avoid Probate
A guide to avoiding the probate process. Learn about different methods that can help you avoid probate, including jointly owning property, using revocable living trusts, and taking advantage of payable on death accounts.