The probate process varies from state to state, but generally refers to the court-supervised process in which a deceased person's assets are gathered and distributed to creditors and inheritors, states LegalZoom. Some states have adopted the uniform probate code, which aims to simplify the probate process, especially for smaller estates.
There are four basic steps to probate, the first of which is to petition the court, explains LegalZoom. A personal representative must then give notice to all known creditors and take an inventory of the estate. All funeral expenses and taxes owed must be paid from the estate. Finally, the legal title of the property is transferred according to the decedent's will or according to state law.