Breaking down Probate

Photo by Gus Moretta on Unsplash

We often receive many questions on what probate is and why some estates have to go through it. Probate can be a difficult and confusing process to go through, but it doesn’t have to be.

What is Probate?

According to, “Probate is a court-supervised process for identifying and gathering the assets of a deceased person (decedent), paying the decedent’s debts, and distributing the decedent’s assets to his or her beneficiaries.” Essentially, who gets what; but, only after creditors are paid.

What is a Probate Attorney?

A probate attorney is a state-licensed attorney that assists and guides the personal representative(s) of the decedent’s estate in settling the decedent’s affairs and ensuring that any debts and creditors are paid and that the remaining assets are distributed in accordance with the decedent’s will or the intestacy statute.

What does a Probate Attorney do?

Aside from assisting the personal representative(s) and ensuring the decedent’s assets are allocated appropriately, a probate Attorney may:

  • Obtain appraisals for any real estate belonging to the decedent;
  • Help collect any proceeds from life insurance policies;
  • Draft and file any documentation requested by the Probate court;
  • Manage the checking account for the estate;
  • Transfer assets in the decedent’s name to the appropriate beneficiaries; and
  • Makes a final disbursement of assets to any and all beneficiaries after creditors, taxes, and bills have been paid.

Can probate be avoided?

Yes and no. In typical lawyer fashion, it depends.

Have questions?

We can help. Call our office at (904) 329-7242, email us at, or send us a DM on Facebook or Instagram (and Follow and Like us while you’re there).

*Disclaimer: Reading this blog post does not create an attorney-client relationship and is not legal advice. This is for informational purposes only. It is best to speak with an attorney about your specific situation, questions, assets, concerns, and needs.