Sometimes I speak in lawyer language and not English.
Recently a reader asked for a laymen’s definition of the probate process.
If you have a will with a pet trust clause, that will needs to be probated.
I have written before that when an individual dies, their bills must be paid and their assets distributed.
If they die with a will (testate), then the will must be taken to the Probate Court, accepted as a valid document and filed with the Court.
If someone dies without a will (intestate) then each state legislature has established laws to determine who will receive their assets.
In either case, a Personal Representative is appointed and that individual is responsible for collecting all of the deceased assets, paying their final bills, including any taxes due, and then distributing the property, as directed by the will or the legislature.
All of this is subject to the overview and approval of the Probate Court.
The entire estate process can take from a few months to years, depending upon the state laws and the estate.
Estate administration can be simple or complex, but must generally follow specific rules and regulations and you should consult competent counsel for your assistance and protection.