What is probate?

The term probate is often confused because it can mean different things to different people. Legally speaking, when you have a will or you have an estate and somebody is going to wrap it up – someone is going to pay off the bills, distribute the property, things like that – that process is called the probating of the estate. But when you have a will and you go to court, the first thing you do is you go and you meet with the judge, you have a hearing, and you admit the will for probate.

Well, a lot of people think, okay, well, we’ve just probated the will. Actually, you’ve just started the probate process. There’s an inventory process, there’s a paying off of claim processes. There’s a lot that depends on the case has to be done to wrap up the estate. But the term probate literally is just the wrapping up of a deceased person's estate.