The Hunger Games Guide to Probate

June 2, 2015


Probate is a legal process that takes place after someone dies. The deceased can wither die with a will (testate) or without a will (intestate).  If a trust is involved, probate may be unnecessary.  If you have seen the hunger games , you know that the plot involves a dystopian future where Katniss Everdeen voluntarily takes her younger sister's place in the Hunger Games, a televised fight to the death in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of the Country of Panem are chosen at random to compete. Much like the Hunger Games, the probate process includes several steps and rules, including:

  • Proving in court that a deceased person's will is valid (usually a routine matter);

  • Appointing an executor(s) of the estate;

  • Identifying and inventorying the deceased person's property;

  • Having the property appraised;

  • Paying debts and taxes, and

  • Distributing the remaining property as the will (or state law, if there's no will) directs.

Whitaker Hagenow & Gustoff LLP represents businesses, farms and individuals in estate planning, probate, criminal defense, civil litigation and business counseling and advice. We can offer comprehensive and creative solutions to complex legal problems along with unparalleled client service and a true commitment to obtaining the best result possible.  Find us @

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