If you have just lost a close friend or family member, you may be dealing with many emotions. In addition to grieving the loss, you may be faced with distribution of your loved one's estate, including any property, possessions and assets he or she had. You may be faced with the need to open a probate estate in the Superior Court for the county where the decedent resided. The process of finalizing the deceased's estate and distributing property to the beneficiaries named in the will or heirs if there is no will can be difficult during this hard time. The probate process is designed to organize this process and to ensure everything is handled properly.
As the initial sadness that often accompanies the death of a loved one begins to abate, new concerns may rise up amongst you and others impacted by their loss. One of them may be the distribution of their estate. Such concerns can easily be resolved provided that your family member or friend left behind a trust or will detailing their wishes, yet what if they did not? In such a case, it is said that they died "intestate." The state has established guidelines that specifically deal with intestate succession.