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State Laws: Estates & Probate

In one form or another, all 50 states and the District of Columbia have enacted laws governing most aspects of estate planning and probate. This includes matters such as the legal validity of wills, creation of trusts, the probate process, and more. These laws can fall under various names, often as collections of laws called "codes." The different estate and probate codes that can be found from state to state include "Decedents' Estates," "Trust and Fiduciaries," "Estate Administration," and the "Uniform Probate Code."

In the table below, you will find links and citations to estate and probate laws for all 50 states and the District of Columbia. See FindLaw's extensive Estate Planning section for additional articles and resources.

[Note on the "Uniform Probate Code" (PDF): As shown on the chart below, a number of states have adopted the Uniform Probate Code. The Code represents an all-inclusive standard meant to simplify understanding of the probate process, and to encourage similarity of laws among different states. It has been adopted, in whole or in part, by about 20 states.]


Title 43 Chapter 2 Administration of Estates
Title 43 Chapter 8 Probate Code


Title 13 Decedents' Estates, Guardianships, Transfers and Trusts
Title 13 Chapter 16 Probate of Wills and Administration


Title 14 Trusts, Estates and Protective Proceedings


Title 28 Wills, Estates and Fiduciary Relationships


California Probate Code


Title 15 Probate, Trusts and Fiduciaries


Title 45 Probate Courts and Procedure


Title 12 Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations

District of Columbia

Division III Title 18 Wills
Division III Title 19 Descent Distribution and Trusts
Division III Title 20 Probate and Administration of Decedents' Estates


Title XLII Estates and Trusts


Title 53 Wills, Trusts, and Administration of Estates


Title 30A Uniform Probate Code


Title 15 Uniform Probate Code


Chapter 755 Estates
Chapter 760 Trusts and Fiduciaries


Title 29 Probate
Title 30 Trusts and Fiduciaries


Title XV Chapter 633 Probate Code
Title XV Chapter 634 Private Foundations and Charitable Trusts
Title XV Chapter 635 Administration of Small Estates
Title XV Chapter 636 Sureties-Fiduciaries-Trusts-Investments


Chapter 59 Probate Code


Chapter 140 Inheritance and Estate Taxes
Chapter 386 Administration of Trusts - Investments
Chapter 391 Descent and Distribution
Chapter 394 Wills
Chapter 395 Personal Representatives
Chapter 396 Claims Against Decedents' Estates


Book III, Title I Of Successions
Uniform Probate Law


Title 18 Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations
Title 18A Probate Code


Titles 1 to 16 Estates and Trusts


MGL Part II, Title II Descent and Distribution, Wills, Estates


Chapters 701 to 713 Probate Code


Chapters 524-532 Estates of Decedents; Guardianships


Title 91 Trusts and Estates


Title XXXI, Chapters 456-475 Trusts and Estates of Decedents


Title 72 Estates, Trusts and Fiduciary Relationships


Chapter 30 Decedents' Estates; Protection of Persons and Property


Title 12 Wills and Estates of Deceased Persons
Title 13 Guardianships; Conservatorships; Trusts

New Hampshire

Title LVI Probate Courts and Decedents' Estates

New Jersey

Titles 3A and 3B Administration of Estates -- Decedents and Others

New Mexico Chapter 45 Uniform Probate Code

Chapter 46 Fiduciaries and Trusts

New York

Chapter 17-B Estates, Powers and Trusts

North Carolina

Chapter 41 Estates
Chapter 47 Probate and Registration

North Dakota

Title 30.1 Uniform Probate Code


Title XXI Courts - Probate - Juvenile


Title 58 Probate Procedure
Title 84 Wills and Succession


Chapter 111 Probate Law
Chapter 112 Intestate Succession and Wills
Chapter 113 Initiation of Estate Proceedings
Chapter 114 Administration of Estates
Chapter 115 Claims, Actions, and Suits Against Estates


Title 20 Decedents, Estates and Fiduciaries

Rhode Island

Title 33 Probate Practice and Procedure

South Dakota

Title 29A Uniform Probate Code
Title 55 Fiduciaries and Trusts

South Carolina

Title 21 Estates, Trusts, Guardians and Fiduciaries
Title 62 Probate Code


Title 30 Administration of Estates
Title 31 Descent and Distribution
Title 32 Wills
Title 35 Fiduciaries and Trust Estates


Texas Probate Code


Title 22 Fiduciaries and Trusts
Title 75 Uniform Probate Code


Title 14 Decedents' Estates and Fiduciary Relations


Title 64.2 Wills and Decedents' Estates


Title 11 Probate and Trust Law

West Virginia

Chapter 41 Wills
Chapter 42 Descent and Distribution
Chapter 44 Administration of Estates and Trusts


Chapter 701 Trusts
Chapter 853 Wills
Chapters 851 to 882 Probate


Title 2 Wills, Decedents' Estates and Probate Code
Title 2 Chapter 2 Probate Court
Title 2 Chapter 6 Wills
Title 2 Chapter 7 Administration of Estates

Get Legal Help with State Estate and Probate Laws

As you can see, each state has its own estate and probate laws. Contact a local estate planning attorney who can help you plan your estate in conformity with your state's estate and probate laws.

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Contact a qualified estate planning attorney to help you ensure that your loved ones are cared for and your wishes are honored.

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