To confirm the validity of a will as the final will, it needs to be probated by a court
of law so that the action to be executed is based on what’s written in the last will.
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In legal terms, probate is the legal process by which a will is validated by the court as the last will of a deceased testator. In simple terms, probate means a copy of certification from the court or competent jurisdiction that a will can be transferred to a beneficiary of the will.
While you might think that the process for a probate is difficult and time consuming, it is not. The entire process is done in 4 steps, which are:
The first step is to prepare an application to the District Judge via a petition duly signed and verified by or on behalf of the applicant, in the format prescribed under the Code of Civil Procedure, 1908. This should be done 7 days after the testator’s death.
The application needs to be prepared by lawyers and sent to the high court, under the jurisdiction of the property. In some cases, a lower court may accept the application.
Certain documents are required to be submitted while applying for probate. You need to show the documents that prove that the will is genuine. You will also need to show the death certificate of the testator, and submit a document to prove that the will was executed by the testator as per his/her own free will.
Once the court receives the application, it verifies all details and issues an invitation letter to the nearest kin of the deceased to claim the probate. A letter is also stuck at prominent places for public view and to invite objections, in case of any. If after 30 days, there is no objection from the kin or the public, the probate is issued.
Is probate required with a will?
Probate is required when a testator owns the full estate or property. It is a must in cases where there are no co-owners to the property. By law, probate is mandatory for a testator’s property to be transferred in the names of his/her beneficiaries.
How long does it take for a will to go through probate court?
It generally takes around six to nine months for probate to go through court. However, if there are any objections during the process, it may take more time, depending on the severity of the objection and investigations required.
Is probate required if there is a surviving spouse?
In cases where the surviving spouse was a co-owner of all the property there is no need to go through probate in court. But if the surviving spouse is not a co-owner, probate in court is necessary for the transfer of property.
What happens when a beneficiary dies during probate?
If a beneficiary dies during the probate period, the assets transferred to his/her name is transferred to the deceased beneficiary’s, surviving beneficiaries.
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