Probate the Will

The expression "probating the will" refers to the legal process of submitting a Last Will and Testament to a Probate Court for authentication and validation.

If a deceased person had created a will before their death, then its authenticity must first be established before their Estate can be distributed to Heirs and Beneficiaries.

The primary purpose of probating the will is to confirm that the will was created by the deceased person (the Testator), it accurately reflects their wishes, and it was was executed according to state laws where they lived.

The process of probating the will typically involves several steps:

Filing the Will: The Executor of the will or a Surviving Family member usually files the original will with the probate court after the testator's death.

Petition for Probate: The court is then officially petitioned to officially recognize the will and authorize its execution. This is often done by the executor, who submits a formal Petition for Probate.

Notice to Interested Parties: Interested parties, such as beneficiaries and heirs, are notified about the probate proceedings, allowing them to contest the will if they believe there are grounds to do so.

Hearing: In some cases, a court hearing might be held to examine the evidence and testimony related to the will's authenticity. This is more common if there are disputes or challenges to the will.

Witness Testimony: Witnesses to the will might need to provide testimony or Affidavits confirming that they were present when the testator signed the will and that it was executed properly.

Court Approval: If the court is satisfied that the will is valid, it issues an order admitting the will to probate. This means the will is recognized as legally valid and the executor can proceed with the estate administration according to its terms.

If the court determines that the will is not valid (for instance, due to lack of proper execution, undue influence, or the testator's lack of capacity), they might refuse to admit the will to probate to continue the Estate Settlement process.

The process of probating a will varies by state and the circumstances of each case and so it's best to consult with an Estate Attorney or Probate Attorney to ensure that the process is carried out correctly.

Also known as Prove the Will.