The circuit court judge will supervise the probate proceedings. The judge will rule on the validity of the will, or, if the decedent did not have a will and died intestate, the judge will confirm the identities of the decedent’s heirs as those who will receive the probate estate. When the decedent’s will names a personal representative, it is up to the judge to decide whether the person or institution named is qualified to serve in that position.
The judge will issue “Letters of Administration,” sometimes referred to as “letters.” These letters are evidence that the personal representative has the authority to administer the decedent’s probate estate. A hearing will be held by the judge if there are any questions or disputes that arise during the administration of the decedent’s probate estate. The written directions of the judge’s decisions are called “orders.”