If the decedentA person who has passed away. did not leave any assets in their own name, then probateThe legal proceeding by which a decedent’s testamentary document, such as a will, is proven to be valid, and the subsequent procedure of administering the decedent’s estate. is often unnecessary. Probate might be opened in these situations if the decedent owed significant debtsA specific amount of money that a person must pay to another person and which that other person has the legal right to collect. to set a deadline for creditors to file a claim.