Probate court is often a necessary part of the process of distributing a person's assets after their death. Here are the basics of probate court and how it works.
Whenever an individual passes away, probate court will typically get involved in order to make sure that everything in their estate is distributed properly. Probate court will look at estate planning documents such as a will in order to determine where everything should go. They have to review the will and make sure that it is legitimate and can be upheld. If the individual did not have a will, the probate court will then use their best judgment to distribute the assets.
In some cases, probate court is not necessary. For example, if assets are held jointly with a spouse, those assets are going to go directly to the spouse without any court intervention. If they had a bank account with both names on it or a piece of property with both names on it, this rule would apply.
If the individual has very few assets, they will often be able to skip the probate process altogether. If an individual has utilized a trust as part of their estate planning, they can usually skip the probate court process as well.