According to the American Bar Association (ABA), probate is the process of giving formal recognition to a will and delegating the responsibility for administering the estate to intended beneficiaries. Navigating the probate process will vary according to state law. Therefore, it is good to contact a probate lawyer to determine if the estate is small enough to bypass formal probate, whether the fiduciary must be bonded (this requirement is often waived in the will), and what reports are necessary to prepare.

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