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Wills Glossary

PROBATE

The legal process through which the court decides how an estate will be divided. The court will look to your last will to decide how to distribute your property and will follow the will, unless it is successfully contested by your heirs.

Generally, if an estate includes real property, a formal probate action is required. However, in many states, if the estate is of minimal value or consists solely of personal property, probate is not required and other legal remedies are available.