The court process by which a will is proved valid or invalid, and the legal wherein the estate of a decedent is administered.
In general, the greater the value of the probate property, the more probate will cost. The cost varies widely from state to state. In more expensive states, assets can be placed into trust in order to bypass the probate process. In less expensive states it may not be worthwhile to draft a trust if the only goal is to avoid probate. Probate, although potentially expensive and time consuming, has a useful purpose: It makes it possible to close out creditors within a 90 day window. It also provides an opportunity to challenge the validity of a creditor’s claims, and to settle disagreements among heirs about whether the deceased person was of sound mind when a decision was made in the will.