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All About Probate Law

All About Probate Law


Probate Law

Probate law deals with issues in regards to the administration of an estate. Probate law includes certainties that the will is legally valid and that an executor of the estate has been appointed. The will must then be upheld and the estate distributed according to the benefactors wishes.

Probate Estate

The probate estate is the point at which a will can be administered, because the surrogacy court has issued a grant of probate. The will has been found legally valid and beneficiaries can take possession of property.

Wills and Probate

Wills can only be administered once the surrogate court has upheld the will as legally valid. Once the will is declared valid and has entered probate, the will can be administered and beneficiaries may take possession of their inheritance.


A gift to charity in a will, can lower the value of the estate which can directly impact the estate tax. Gifts to charity may include money or a gift in kind, which may be property. In either case, the value of the gift is subtracted from the value of the estate before the estate tax is applied.


Satisfaction of the will occurs when all of the beneficiaries have received their intended inheritance. Satisfaction of legacy occurs when a beneficiary was gifted an amount of money or property while the benefactor was still alive, which was meant to count towards their inheritance.

Inter Vivos

Inter vivos means between the living. For example, gifts given during ones lifetimes would be inter vivos gifts, rather than gifts given after death in a will, which would be inheritance.

Probate Forms

Probate forms can be obtained from the courthouse,. These forms are required for an individual to get a grant of probate from the courts.

Community Property

Community property is property which is jointly owned by two spouses. The spouses share equal ownership of that property and in many jurisdictions, a surviving spouse automatically inherits their spouses percentage of ownership of that community property.

Probate Registry

Those individuals that are planning on administering a will, must first go to the probate registry with the appropriate forms. The individuals that goes to the probate registry may be a probate lawyer, but they can also be a beneficiary of the will. The grant of probate does not have to be granted to an attorney and can be granted to any individual that has some authority over the estate.


Trusts are a legal way of disbursing money or property from a benefactor to a beneficiary. The money may be dispersed while the benefactor is still alive, or the disbursements may begin after the benefactor has passed away.


A codicil is used to amend a will. The codicil may take out or add clauses to an existing will.