Probate is the process by which property is transferred from the decedent to his or her heirs or beneficiaries. Probate occurs in the city or county where the decedent had his or her legal residence.


When a person dies, his (or her) estate, which consists of the total amount of property owned by the person at the time of his death, is submitted to the probate court. Probate generally includes collecting, inventorying and appraising assets; paying and collecting debts; filing and paying estate taxes; and distributing any remaining assets to beneficiaries.


If there is a will, the probate court will determine if the will is valid and then oversee the administration of the estate by the executor (the person appointed in the will by the decedent to oversee the estate). If there is no will or the will is determined to be invalid, the probate court will appoint an administrator and the decedent’s property will be distributed according to the state’s laws of inheritance.

The probate process may be completed in as little as six months or can last for several years if complications arise. Not all property has to go through probate. The advice and guidance of an experienced probate attorney from the McManus Law Firm can be most beneficial in the probate process. Contact our office today to schedule your free initial consultation and see how we can be of assistance.