Probate is the judicial process whereby a will is "proved" in a court of law and accepted as a valid public document that is the true last testament of the deceased, or whereby the estate is settled according to the laws of intestacy in the state of residence [or real property] of the deceased at time of death in the absence of a legal will.
The granting of probate is the first step in the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person's property under a will. A probate court decides the legal validity of a testator's (deceased person's) will and grants its approval, also known as granting probate, to the executor. The probated will then becomes a legal instrument that may be enforced by the executor in the law courts if necessary. A probate also officially appoints the executor (or personal representative), generally named in the will, as having legal power to dispose of the testator's assets in the manner specified in the testator's will. However, through the probate process, a will may be contested.
1.3 Probate clause
2 Probate process
3.1 Applying for a grant of probate
3.2 Distributing the estate
4 United Kingdom
4.1 England and Wales
4.1.3 Grants of representation
220.127.116.11 Applying for a grant
4.1.4 Asset distribution
4.1.5 Probate requirements
4.1.6 Intestacy probate process
4.1.7 Contesting the circumstances of a Will's creation
5 United States
5.1 Avoiding probate
5.2 Steps of probate
6 See also
8 External links
Main article: Executor
An executor is the person appointed by a will to act on the behalf of the estate of the will maker (the "testator") upon his or her death. An executor is the legal personal representative of a deceased person's estate. The appointment of an executor only becomes effective after the death of the testator. After the testator dies, the person named in the will as executor can decline or renounce the position, and if that is the case should very quickly notify the probate court registry accordingly. There is no legal obligation for that person to accept the appointment.
Executors "step into the shoes" of the deceased and have similar rights and powers to wind up the personal affairs of the deceased. This may include continuing or filing lawsuits to which the deceased was entitled to bring, making claims for wrongful death, paying off creditors, or selling or disposing of assets not particularly gifted in the will, among others. But the role of the executor is to resolve the testator's estate and to distribute the estate to the beneficiaries or those otherwise entitled.
When a person dies without a Will then the legal personal representative is known as “the Administrator”. This is commonly the closest relative, although that person can renounce their right to be Administrator in which case the right moves to the next closest relative. This often happens when parents or grandparents are first in line to become the Administrator but renounce their rights as they are old, don’t have knowledge of estate law and feel that someone else is better suited to the task.
Appointment of an administrator follows a codified list establishing priority appointees. Classes of persons named higher on the list receive priority of appointment to those lower on the list. Although appointees named in the Will and relatives of the deceased frequently receive priority over all others, creditors of the deceased and 'any other citizen [of that jurisdiction]' may act as an administrator if there is some cognizable reason or relationship to the estate. Alternatively, if no other person qualifies or no other person accepts appointment, the court will appoint a representative from the local public administrator's office.