Probate: How to Distribute Estate and Determine Who Gets What


Probate, court’s involvement with the distribution of an estate may occur either due to conflict with regard to the administration of a testamentary document or absent testamentary documents. This process almost always takes place shortly after the death of the person whose estate is being probated and it can be a difficult ordeal for the family. The last thing most people want to worry about while grieving the death of a loved one is how the money should be divided. But all too often, family members become entangled in disputes over who gets what.

If you dealing with issues related to probate, don’t hesitate to give us a call so we can sit down and discuss the situation. Then, leave the worrying to us. We’ll make the court appearances, talk to the other parties, and make sure the estate is fairly distributed, ensuring you don’t get short-changed. By letting us handle the legal side of things, the memory of your lost family member won’t be clouded by ugly legal proceedings.

⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐ ⭐”Löan worked with my wife and I to create our family trust, durable power of attorney and advanced health care directives. She did an excellent job in first sitting down with us – patiently helping us determine exactly what we wanted in our documents. She then did an excellent job bringing it all together to create documents that help us feel prepared for the future.”

-Richard Rechif, real estate broker & syndicator

Common Questions

Probate is the court’s involvement with the distribution of an estate. It may occur due to conflict with regard to the administration of testamentary documents, issues surrounding the interpretation of the testamentary documents or absent testamentary documents.

Typically, the executor named in a will or the successor trustee named in a trust will start the process after a death by filing a petition in court and seeking appointment. This person will take charge of the decedent’s assets, pay debts, and after receiving court approval, will distribute the estate to the beneficiaries. Absent testamentary documents, upon petitioning the court for appointment, an administrator will be assigned to oversee these tasks.

Since the Probate Court is governed by defined rules and accustomed to resolving distribution disputes – the probate process can be looked at as a necessary referee. Additionally, the courts involvement will hold parties accountable and provide additional protection over potential beneficiaries’ interest.

Here are three: (1) Probate is a public procedure. Thus, once probate is filed the estate plan and assets may become public record; (2) The fees associated with probate are quite extensive and may end up substantially reducing the inheritance intended for the beneficiaries (3) Due to court supervision, the probate process may take much longer than administrating a living trust.

Links & Resources

Download and print one of the intake forms attached below before your consultation. It will speed up the process and can give you a good idea of how the process works.

FORM: Shillinger Law Probate Questionnaire

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