When a loved one passes away, his or her estate goes through a process called probate. This process is conducted through the probate courts. If there is a will directing how the decease' property should be distributed upon their death, the probate court has to determine if it should be admitted to probate and given legal effect . If the decedent dies without leaving a will (intestate), the court appoints a Personal Representative to distribute the decedent’s property according to the laws of Descent and Distribution. These laws direct the distribution of inherited property and assets based on hereditary succession.