Probate is the court process that looks after people who cannot make their own personal health care and financial decisions. These people fall into three general categories:
- Minor Children (under age 18 in most states)
- Incapacitated Adults
- People who have died without legal arrangements to avoid probate
Probate proceedings can be expensive and time-consuming. Additionally, the court proceeding and associated documents are all a matter of public record. Many people choose to avoid probate in order to save money, spare their heirs a legal hassle, and keep their personal affairs private.