Probate is a court-supervised procedure for transferring ownership of someone’s assets after he or she dies. This process validates the person’s will and distributes property as the will directs. If the decedent left no will or other legal arrangement for transferring assets upon death, the estate still goes through probate.
The goal of probate is to protect the rights of heirs or other beneficiaries and others who have an interest in an estate. Probate determines what the estate owes in taxes and to creditors.