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Probate Definition (What is Probate?)

Probate definition: a court application made to prove a will so the executor can carry out his or her duties. The legal definition of probate is “The court process by which a will is proved valid or invalid. The legal process wherein the estate of a decedent is administered.”

Upon death, a person's estate may have to go through probate. If there is a will, the court will decide if that will is valid. If there is not a will, the court will appoint a personal representative to distribute the estate. The court will also establish that the deceased is dead and who can act as personal representative to manage and distribute the estate.

(Note: the term “personal representative” is the current legal term used to refer to an executor/executrix, administrator/administratix, and judidicial trustee.)

Probate: Define What Must Be Done

Many people searching for a probate definition are really trying to find out what probate means and what must be done. They want to know what to expect, how much it will cost, and when they will be able to receive what was left to them in the will.

When a person dies, whoever has the will must produce it along with any codicils or other relevant documents. This might be the person appointed as the personal representative or executor of the will or the deceased person's lawyer.

The personal representative or his or her lawyer submits an application for probate to the court. The required forms are part of the Surrogate Rules Package, and can be purchased from the Queen's Printer online.

The personal representative must complete all relevant forms and notices and serve any beneficiaries or dependents. The documents are then filed with the Surrogate section of the Court of Queen's Bench in the judicial district where the deceased person lived. The fees for doing this depend on the value of the estate.

Once the personal representative receives the Grant of Probate, he or she can carry out the executor's duties with the court's approval and distribute the estate according to the will. This is generally expected to be done within a year of the death.

Probate can be fairly simple or quite complex, depending on your unique situation. Talking to your estate lawyer should always be your first step in the process.

Get More on Probate Meaning and What Must Be Done

Our site contains a wealth of information on probate and what it means to you. You'll find out what is expected of executors throughout the probate process, learn the meanings of other terms related to probate, and find out what you can do as a beneficiary of a will or estate to keep things moving.

Please keep reading and contact us if you would like legal advice. We're experienced Calgary probate lawyers. This website is for educational purposes only and does not constitute actual legal advice.


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