Probate is the process by which courts adjudicate estates. Courts apply state laws to the matter, and they also consider the legal documents that are present in the estate, including wills and trusts. Most estates go through some version of the probate process, though certain assets can be protected from the process by placing them in trusts. Payable-on-death accounts such as life insurance policies also don't have to go through probate.
When dealing with probate matters, there are numerous reasons you might want to have an experienced professional on your side. One of those reasons is to protect the wishes of the loved one who has passed away. Likely he or she had certain desires for the legacy of the estate, and other people might want to change how those things are being handled. By working with a probate lawyer, you can help protect your loved one's legacy.