What is Probate?
"Probate" is a term which refers to when a State court operates in an active, protective capacity for an individual who is unable to manage their own affairs, either due to lack of ability or capacity, or due to death.
When an individual is incompetent or has deceased, then the State of California, acting through a court "sitting in Probate," takes over the affairs of the individual. Many counties in California have designated a single judge or commissioner to hear all probate cases.
The protective function of the courts goes by different names in various states. In many states, the court is simply called a "Probate Court" though there are different names depending on the state. In California, it is the Probate Division of the Superior Court.
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