Probate law is the process of distributing a person's estate after he passes away. It involves the filing of the deceased person's will with the court and appearances by lawyers to work through the dissolution of assets and distribution of the estate to the beneficiaries, according to Nolo.
Nolo outlines the probate process as the will being filed with the court, and the court officially appointing the named executor to handle the affairs of the estate. The executor files a list of property owned by the deceased, as well as any debts that need to be paid.
The executor is in charge of finding, securing and managing all assets and paying the funeral expenses and all other debts, explains Nolo. The executor decides whether certain securities and real estate need to be sold. The executor also needs to ensure all of the assets and cash are distributed as outlined in the will. The time frame for this is dependent on the assets owned by the deceased and any family members coming forward to contest the will. The executor must file proof with the court that all bills are paid and money distributed before the court allows the file to be closed.