Probate is a court process to retitle assets. Probate is designed to create a “final accounting” upon death. It is the legal process of “proving up” a Will, or verifying that a Will is valid, takes place in one of two instances. First, if a person dies leaving behind a Will, or second, if the deceased has died intestate, that is, has not left behind a Will or estate plan of any type or the Will cannot be found. Estate planning attorney Steve Waltar with Legacy Estate Planning joins Suzanne to give us a primer on probate.

Steve says, “Probate is a Latin term that means ‘to prove,’ and it’s essentially to prove who died and prove what their assets are. So, it’s this court process to retitle things. Probate is not caused because you have a will, and it’s not caused because you don’t have a will. It’s really caused because there are things that need re-titling.”