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How do you probate a will?

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Quick Answer

A will is probated in probate court, which is a state court governed by state and local law. The probate court determines the validity of the will and oversees the distribution of the decedent's assets, according to Cornell University's Legal Information Institute.

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Full Answer

A will allows a person to decide who should act as the executor of his or her estate, rather than allowing a court to appoint an administrator. Frequently, the executor lodges the will with the probate court and notifies all beneficiaries and immediate family members, which initiates the probate process. The probate court then rules on the validity of the will, considering the decedent's competency at the time of the execution of the will, whether the will was properly executed, and whether or not there was undue influence, fraud or duress, according JRank's law library.

The court may also have to rule on a will contest, which occurs when a beneficiary disagrees with the validity of the will or parts thereof. Under court supervision, the provisions in the will are then carried out. A will also allows a testator the right to select an individual to serve as guardian to raise his or her young children in the event of death, as explained by JRank's law library.

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