When There is No Will

It is a common misperception that the process of probate will not happen when a deceased person does not leave a will. This, in fact, is far from the truth. In cases of death with no will, the legal title to property will need to be transferred to the heirs; this will be done through the court's probate process. The same procedures of appointing an administrator, identifying beneficiaries and distributing assets will still occur.

Dying "intestate" is another way to refer to cases of deceased parties that failed to leave a will in their wake. When this is the case, state courts will take the appropriate steps necessary to ensure that the legal matters are still attended to. This will mean that an administrator will be named as personal representative of the case, handling all claims, creditor payments and inheritance distribution that will need to be attended to. The person named as administrator is usually a close friend or family member who would likely have inherited many of the property and assets available if a will had been established.

Because there is no will, there will also be no need for probate litigation since the terms of the will won't be contested. The most you will need to understand about the probate process is its administration, which a probate attorney can easily help you do.