Probate is the process of transferring the decedent’s assets to his or her beneficiaries under the supervision of the court. That property will be transferred to a person’s beneficiaries following his or her wishes stated in his will. If a person does not have a will, the assets will be passed to the decedent’s heirs according to a state law called decent and distribution.
The first step of the probate process is to have an executor or administrator appointed. The executor or administrator is the person responsible for making the decisions in order to transfer the decedent’s property legally to creditors and beneficiaries. An executor is nominated in a will. An administrator is appointed by the court when a person does not have a will.
The executor must identify a person’s assets and their values. The fiduciary then liquidates the assets and insures the taxes and creditors are paid. Finally, the fiduciary distributes the remainder to the proper beneficiaries.