Uniform Probate Code (UPC) Law and Legal Definition

Probate law is a state specific area of law. The particulars of probate law vary widely from state to state. The Uniform Probate Code (UPC) is a comprehensive statute promulgated in 1969 by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL).

The purpose of the UPC is to modernize probate law and probate administration and to encourage uniformity through the adoption of the code by all fifty states. The UPC simplifies the probate process. The UPC unifies, clarifies, and modernizes the laws governing the affairs of decedents and their estates, certain transfers accomplished other than by a will, and trusts and their administration. Most of the states have adopted the UPC. The UPC contains seven substantive articles.

The UPC allows unsupervised administration for estates with few assets and estates where there is no disputes among the beneficiaries. Under the UPC, the executor of the will handles the probating of the estate without direct supervision by the probate court. The executor handles every step of the probate process by filing a series of simple forms with the probate court. The advantage is that an unsupervised administration reduces the cost of probate and speeds up the process. Thus, the probate courts are freed from dealing with routine matters and can concentrate on matters where supervised administration is necessary.