Probate is the legal process used to transfer assets from an individual to his or her heirs. Probate is voluntary and must be requested. Heirs request probate by filing a probate petition with the court in the county in which the decedent lived. It is possible for probate to take place in multiple venues for a single decedent if he or she died owning property individually in more than one state. Although probate is voluntary, it is often required in order to transfer assets. Probate applies to the asset the decedent owned individually at his or her death. Having a will can make the probate process less onerous but will not result in avoiding probate. Dying without a will is called being intestate.
Dying with a will is called being testate. Learn more about testacy
Dying without a will is called being intestate. Learn more about intestacy