What is Probate?

Nina Grayson
Nina Grayson
Realtor®, Certified Probate Real Estate Specialist, Healthy Cook, Meditator, Investor, and All-Around Fun to Hang Out With...
Spring flower bloom at Torrey Pines State Beach, San Diego, California.

Probate is the judicial process that administers and settles the Estate of deceased persons. The probate court process can take quite some time and requires patience, organization, and a team of professionals to support the heirs, Executor or Administrator in the process. In general, there are three phases of probate.

Phase 1: Filing

In the first phase of probate, the Heir, Conservator, or Guardian identifies an attorney to assist with the probate proceeding and has them file the case with the probate court. Next, the court must “prove the will, and if proven, the estate is Testate. If there is no will, the Estate of the decedent is Intestate, which means heirs and claimants, such as creditors, must be identified and notified of the probate proceeding.

Phase 2: Appointment of Personal Representative

In probate, there are two types of Personal Representatives: an Executor or an Administrator. An Executor is appointed by the will of the decedent’s. The Administrator is appointed by the court and is usually the closes living relative. If either the Executor or the Administrator renounces their right to serve in their role, the court will appoint one from the public administrator’s office.

Phase 3: Determination & Distribution of Assets

The personal representative will gather all important documents of the decedent and a list of assets of the estate that are subject to probate. The personal representative is responsible for carrying out such duties as paying outstanding debts, paying property taxes, and selling personal property. In some cases, the decedent’s estate includes real property that must be sold under the court’s supervision. Once all of the assets of the estate are accounted for, the court will finalize the distribution of the proceeds of the estate to the beneficiaries.

To find out more about the Probate process, resources, and selling probate real estate, visit my Blog category, Probate. If you are are an Heir, Administrator, or Executor seeking representation, guidance, and support in finalizing a full authority or court confirmation probate real estate sale, contact me today at 310-383-7393 or [email protected]


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