A probate court is a court of limited [[wex:jurisdiction]] that hears matters surrounding a person's death. For example, probate courts oversee the distribution of [[wex:decedent|dead peoples']] [[wex:estate|assets]] according to their [[wex:estate_planning|wills]] and direct the distribution of [[wex:decedent|dead peoples']] assets if they die [[wex:intestate|without a will]].
Some probate courts also hear petitions to declare people [[wex:incompetence|incompetent]] and oversee [[wex:guardian|guardians]] or conservators. Other jurisdictions leave these matters to [[wex:family_court|family courts]].
Probate courts are governed by [[wex:table_probate|state and local law]]. Some jurisdictions have surrogate courts instead of probate courts.
See [[wex:estate_planning|Estate Planning]]; [[wex:estates_and_trusts|Estates and Trusts]]; [[wex:table_probate|State probate laws]].