Probate Court

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DEFINITION of 'Probate Court'

The segment of the judicial system primarily charged with handling such matters as wills, estates, conservatorships and guardianships, as well as the commitment of mentally ill persons to institutions designed to help them. In addition, the court may also deal with similar situations involving minors, although typically through a juvenile division.

BREAKING DOWN 'Probate Court'

When wills are contested (for whatever reason), the probate court is responsible for ruling on the authenticity of the document and the mental stability of the person who signed it. The court also decides who is to receive what portion of the decedent's assets based on the instructions in the will or, barring that, other laws in place.

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