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Probate is the first step in the legal process of executing a deceased person’s will. Once a probate court certifies the legality of a will, the executor or power of attorney has the legal authority to begin distributing the testator’s assets. The probate process is also tasked with resolving any disputes over allocations of property made in the will. Accounts with named beneficiaries, such as insurance policies and retirement accounts, are typically exempt from the probate process. Property and assets allocated in a trust can also avoid probate.

Learn more about what happens to your bitcoin when you die.