For questions about the legal process of distributing the estate of a deceased person.
Probate is the legal process associated with verifying the validity of a will following a person's death, and establishing the procedure for the distribution of their property in accordance with their wishes. The word probate can also be used to refer to the document itself, that is, a verified (proved) copy of the will.
A will is a document that describes how an individual, the testator, wished their property to be distributed after their death. For questions specifically about this document use the will tag.
For a person who left a will, the executor(s) named in that will are granted probate, and then have authority to resolve any claims and distribute the property of the deceased. If a person died intestate (that is, without leaving a valid will), then an administrator, typically the closest relative, may be assigned to perform this function in accordance with the local intestacy laws. For such questions, use the administrations tag.
Use the probate-process tag for questions about the process of administering the estate of a deceased person. For questions about finding or interpreting probate records, use the probate-records tag instead.