Mississippi Family Law Attorneys
Estate “probate” is a legal mechanism used to assure that the assets of a deceased person pass to the people or entities that the deceased person specified in his Last Will and Testament. A person who dies with a valid Last Will and Testament is said to have died “testate.”
Similar to estate probate is estate “administration,” which is a legal mechanism to assure that the assets of a deceased person who dies without a valid Last Will and Testament (or “intestate”) are transferred to the deceased person’s rightful heirs. The levels of heirship are as follows:
1. Spouse and Children in equal parts, with the descendants of a deceased child to take the share of the deceased parent in equal parts among them.
2. Father, Mother, Sisters, Brothers, with the descendants of sisters and brothers to take their deceased parent's share.
3. Grandparents, Uncles, and Aunts.
4. Next of kin, computed by the rules of civil law.
Generally speaking, estate probate and administration each require that the court appoint a personal representative of the deceased person to gather the deceased person’s assets, pay any valid claims of creditors filed, and distribute the deceased person’s assets according to his Last Will and Testament, if there is one, or according to the laws of descent and distribution if there is no valid will.