What is probate?
Probate is a court proceeding that administers an estate by distributing property upon a person’s death. In California, probate is designed to create a “final accounting” of an estate with more than $150,000 of net assets not titled in trust.
When is an estate probated?
An estate is probated if: (1) the person died leaving only a will and no accompanying trust; or (2) the person died without leaving a will or estate plan, meaning he or she died intestate.
What does the probate process involve?
Probate is a process that involves entering the decedent’s will in court, appointing a personal representative as a fiduciary to gather the assets and close out the estate, paying off any claims against the estate, and distributing any remaining funds to the beneficiaries named in the will (or the decedent’s heirs if there is no will).