Probate court is a segment of the judicial system that oversees the execution of wills as well as the handling of estates, conservatorships, and guardianships. Probate court also handles the commitment of a person with psychiatric disabilities to institutions designed to help them.

Probate court ensures that a will is executed according to the wishes of the individual who has passed away. It makes sure that all debts owed are paid and that assets are distributed properly. The court oversees and usually must approve the activities of the executor appointed to handle these matters.

In addition, when a will is contested, the probate court is responsible for ruling on the authenticity of the document and the cognitive stability of the person who signed it. If no will exists, the court also decides who receives the decedent’s assets, based on the laws of the jurisdiction in place.


  • Probate court handles legal matters like estates, guardianships, and wills.
  • Probate lawyers are often hired to manage probate matters and navigate probate courts.
  • In many cases, probate court cases can proceed with or without a will in hand.
  • The probate court process starts when the executor or family member files a petition for probate, the will, and a copy of the death certificate.
  • The probate court process ends when the executor completes all necessary tasks, provides an accounting statement to the court, and the court approves it.