The Probate handles administration of wills (Testate) and transfers of assets where there is no will (Intestate).
To achieve what is directed in a last will and testament, the will must be probated. To probate a will, the will and other documents must be submitted to the probate court in the county of residence at the time of death. Personal Representative and Probate may be formal or informal depending on whether there are any questions or issues with the will, challenges to the will, or other determination that the court must approve. Probate may be informal if there are no anticipated challenges to the validity of the will or disagreements between all interested parties.
The Personal Representative must be appointed to probate a will or intestate (no will) estate.
This person must act as a fiduciary to the administration of the will. This is a serious obligation and requires that the personal representative act diligently and competently to achieve the wishes of the will creator. An attorney is required to ensure that the personal representative follows all of the legal requirements and schedules of probating the will and to draft select documents, for example the Deed of Distribution.
If there is a challenge to the will, an attorney must develop the legal arguments and represent the estate at a hearing on the challenge.