What is probate?

Written by Terry Johansson | 13th September 2013

A grant of Probate is a court document that confirms that a Will is valid and gives the person appointed in the Will, known as the ‘executor’, permission to deal with the assets of the deceased.

Once Probate is granted, the executor can legally collect money owing to the deceased, sell assets, pay debts and divide the remaining “Estate” amongst the beneficiaries.

A deceased’s Estate is all of the property that he/she owns at the time of their death.  Clothes, tools, jewellery, cash, bank accounts, a flat, or a motor vehicle can all form part of an Estate.

If a person dies without a Will they are considered to have died ‘intestate’. In this situation,  the Estate will be distributed in accordance with the rules of intestacy. “Letters of Administration” will be granted to an Administrator instead of Probate being granted to an executor.

The word “Grant” commonly applies to each grant, unless otherwise specified.

For information on the rules of intestacy, click here for more information.

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