Individuals make wills for the purpose of deciding what happens to their property upon their death. Assets and personal effects are legally transferred to designated heirs or descendants. When a person dies intestate or without a will, the state where the deceased resided probates the assets. This legal process is known as probate. When a will is in place, the designated executor manages the probate process. In the absence of a will, state laws require that the court appoint an executor to assume the responsibilities of the property and affairs of the deceased. Property must be disposed of and the proceeds used to pay off all creditors, pay income taxes and property taxes. It is only after obligations of the estate are met that heirs receive any distribution. Probate sales are subject to court confirmation. The pending sale of probate property must be published in the newspaper prior to the sale.