In a very basic description, probate is the court process to oversees that the correct people inherit property when someone passes away.
With or without a Will, Probate is initiated with a petition. And, by law, the Probate process must last at least 6 months.
Once the probate court determines whether or not there is a Last Will & Testament, then the court appoints the appropriate person to serve as the Personal Representative of the Probate Estate. Usually that person is named in the Will, however, that person can be appointed if they have priority for that role under Idaho law if there is no Will.
After the Probate court appoints the Personal Representative, he or she will collect the deceased person’s assets and property, pay legitimate creditor claims, sell any property that cannot be divided, and distribute the remaining property and funds to the named heirs or appropriate devisees.
During that remaining 6 months the Personal Representative will prepare and file a list of the decedent’s property and will provide an “accounting” to the court describing the property and financial details of the probate process.
At the end of the 6 month period, if the Personal Representative is finished with his or her work, ie creditors have been dealt with, remaining property distributed, etc., a final statement is filed with the court closing down Probate.