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Probate is a legal concept that can relate to how property owned as tenants in common is transferred after an owner’s death.

Probate refers to the legal process by which a deceased person’s estate is administered and distributed to heirs and beneficiaries. During this process, a court reviews the validity of the deceased’s will (if one exists), appoints an executor or administrator, ensures that the deceased’s debts and taxes are paid, and distributes the remaining assets to the beneficiaries.

When a property is owned as tenants in common, each owner has a separate and undivided interest in the property. If one of the tenants in common dies, their share does not automatically go to the other tenants. Instead, their interest in the property will pass according to their will or, if there’s no will, according to the state’s intestacy laws. This portion of the property might need to go through the probate process before it’s transferred to the deceased’s beneficiaries or heirs.