Probate has been around for centuries- (and obviously a long history of stressing people out.)
Believe it or not, the issue of people passing away and the ensuing turmoil of family, church and government figuring out who gets what has been around a while.
The laws and jurisdictions of Probate: Feudalism, Church vs. state, a long cloudy history of who gets to be in charge of settling the deceased’s accounts and dividing his worldly possessions (encompassing paying the bills transferring of property) has evolved for a nearly a thousand years. Starting with William the Conqueror and The Norman Conquest, in 1066 and the next several decades, (when he basically stole all the land owned by the uncooperative for himself and gave it away to his buddies). through this evolution, Local Governments have gradually taken charge of the settling the business of the deceased.
The History of the Probate Court