For questions about finding or interpreting wills, administrations, probate bonds, petitions, inventories, and other records associated with distribution of a person's estate after their death.
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.