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Probate

Probate is the legal process of settling an estate after the death of an individual. Probate court in most counties supervises the division of assets according to the instructions in a will or in the absence of a will as required by state law. An attorney represents the estate and seeks a settlement that is approved by the court.

Expanded Definition

In the case of a trust, the instructions of the trust are carried out without taking the estate to probate. Only assets not properly titled to the trust must be probated.

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