Probate is the process that transfers legal title of property from the estate of the person who has died (the "decedent") to his or her proper beneficiaries. The term "probate" refers to a "proving" of the existence of a valid Will, or determining who the legal heirs are if there is no Will.
The probate process also provides for the collection of any taxes due by reason of the deceased's death or on the transfer of his or her property. Additionally, it provides a mechanism for payment of outstanding debts owed by the decedent.
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