Probate is the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person by resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person's property under the valid will. A probate interprets the instructions of the deceased, decides the executor as the personal representative of the estate, and adjudicates the interests of heirs and other parties who may have claims against the estate.
Trustees need to be guided in how and when to distribute assets and how to take creditors rights into account. A Petition to appoint a personal representative may need to be filed and Letters of Administration obtained. There are time factors involved in filing and objecting to claims against the estate. Property may need to be sold to ensure correct distribution of assets pursuant to the estate plan or merely to pay debts. Inheritance Tax must be considered if the estate exceeds certain thresholds.