What Is Probate?

At its essence, Probate is a court proceeding.  The job of the Probate Court is to distribute a decedent's "estate".  If an individual dies owning an asset (i.e real estate, bank account, etc.), the title to those assets passes to the person's "estate". The Probate Court is then called up to distribute the estate.  If the decedent had a WILL, then it is given to the judge and serves as instructions on what to do.  If the decedent had no will, then the State's Laws of Intestacy apply.  Intestacy laws are therefore a WILL for anyone who died without one.