Probate is the area of law associated with settling an individual's estate at the time of death, whether that includes proving the existence or validity of a will or determining the appropriate heirs when no will is found. The probate process can be very simple or very complex depending on the size of the estate and the relationship between heirs. The probate process begins with the appointment of a personal representative, someone to administer the estate. Choosing the proper estate administration plan at an early stage will avoid unnecessary waste of valuable resources including time and money.
Some common types of estate administration include:
- Formal Estate Administration Supervised by the Court
- Formal Unsupervised Administration
- Informal Administration (Supervised or Unsupervised), and
- Small Estate Proceedings