The Probate Process


Welcome to LawShelf’s video-course on the probate process. This course focuses on the steps necessary to administer the estate of a deceased person, from the initial steps to be taken immediately after death through the closing of the estate.

This is an intermediate level course and taking LawShelf’s video-course on Wills before this one is recommended unless you have some education or experience in this area.

The course opens with the documents to be gathered immediately after death, including the death certificate and will. We’ll also focus on when probate is necessary, as many types of assets, such as those jointly held, do not require probate. We’ll also discuss the various types of administration proceedings that are necessary, depending on the nature of the estate.

Module 2 starts with the probate process, including preparing the petition and determining who can seek appointment as estate administrator. We’ll also look at the process by which the probate court can gain jurisdiction over the estate, as by notice and waivers or hearing. We’ll also discuss the role of the guardian ad litem in the case of a minor or disabled beneficiary.

Module 3 turns to the estate administration process. We’ll start with the preliminary steps and then move to identifying and gathering the estate assets. These steps include valuing the assets and preparing an inventory and, later, an accounting. We’ll also look at dealing with creditors of the deceased.

Module 4 looks at problems in estate administrations: specifically, disputes and will contests. We’ll look at grounds for will contests and the effects of “no-contest” clauses. We’ll also discuss the spousal elective share and community property issues, along with disputes between the estate and beneficiaries, creditors and taxing authorities.

The final module looks at the responsibilities of the administrator, compensation and remedies for abuses. We’ll then look at setting up testamentary trusts. Finally, we’ll discuss the final accountings and affidavits necessary to close out the estate.

This course will give you a comprehensive overview of the probate process and enable you to better comprehend and assist in its details.

Best of luck and we welcome your feedback.


When and Where to Bring Probate Proceedings - Module 1 of 5


The Probate Process - Module 2 of 5


Administering the Estate - Module 3 of 5


Resolving Disputes - Module 4 of 5


Fiduciary Duties and Wrapping up the Estate - Module 5 of 5

Final Exam only needs to be taken by those seeking to earn the Digital Badge credentials for this course.