If there is a will, properly signed and witnessed, then the named beneficiaries will receive property as designated. Prior to death, the person may also have appointed a representative to distribute assets.
- If there is no will, the person has died "intestate." In this case, number of things may happen:
- If married, all assets go to the surviving spouse, unless there are descendants.
If the deceased was married with children, there are many complicated rules that must be followed. The link below will summarize the various situations.
There are many players involved in closing a probate case, including court clerks, judges, the executor of the will, and the IRS. Considerations of tax liability and trust funds may also be involved before a probate case can be considered closed.