Probate Court Law and Legal Definition

Probate courts are specialized courts that possess jurisdiction of probating wills, administration of estates and guardianship and adoption of minors and incompetents. Sometimes the probate court also supervises and manages the distribution of the estate of the dead. In other words, a probate court presides over estate distribution settlements, documentation of wills, and the appointment of legal guardians. In contested matters, a probate court examines the authenticity of a will and decides who is to receive the deceased person's property. In a case of an intestacy, the court determines who is to receive the deceased's property under the law of its jurisdiction.