Probate Court

Last Updated: December 12, 2017

Definition - What does Probate Court mean?

Probate court is a part of the legal system that is charged mostly with handling wills and the estates of the deceased. It also handles the distribution of life insurance death benefits if the beneficiary is dead or the policyholder has not named a beneficiary.

Insuranceopedia explains Probate Court

The probate court ensures the proper distribution of the wealth and property of the deceased, both to the beneficiaries and in the form of estate tax payments.

Money awarded from an insurance policy, particularly the death benefit, does not ordinarily go through a probate process since the insurance company automatically sends the payment to the beneficiary. If, however, complications or uncertainties arise regarding the beneficiary of the policy, the insurance company will entrust the money with the probate court and task it with deciding whom to award it to.

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