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Guide to Probate and Wills When a person dies he usually leaves a will which is a legal document stating the deceased wished when it comes to his funeral, care for his children, if they are still young, and how his property is to be distributed to his loved ones. If a person dies with a drafted will, they are said to have died testate in legal terms. If a person did not leave a will then it is said that the person died intestate. In a will, the name of the executor is mentioned. An executor’s job is to execute the will of the deceased. The person named as the executor of the will can be anybody from a friend, a relative, a close associate or even a lawyer. They are usually referred to as a representative of the estate in probate in a will in order to cover executors of both genders. When there is a will, it will be easier for the family of the deceased person when it comes to estate distribution issues. It reduces the possibility of disagreement or misunderstanding between family members when they are trying to figure out the death wishes of the deceased. Executing a will may sound easy but it is not. It is because there is still a need for court validation required by law which could delay the execution. In order for the executor to validate a will, he has to apply for a grant of probate in a probate court. The legal process of identifying, validating, and distribution the estate of the deceased person under strict court supervision is what we refer to as probate. In this process, payment of outstanding debt co creditors and payment of outstanding taxes such as death and inheritance tax is included. The function of the probate court is to interpret the will and validate the claims on the estate made by third parties such as creditors of the deceased. Their task is to oversee the probate process from when the executor files for a grant of probate up to when it is granted and ownership of the estate is transferred to the rightful beneficiaries.
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Before the executor can be granted probate, he first need to present to the probate court the will registry and a solicitor approved oath. With this oath, the executor is shown to be committed to administering the wishes stated by the deceased in his will. The person named as executor is not recognized by law until the probate court officially appoints him as the representative of the estate in probate.
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The time it takes to grant probate depends on how properly a will is drafted. If the beneficiaries are not happy with the distribution, they can actually file with the same court a case contesting the validity of the will. Thus, the estate remains frozen until the court makes a validity judgment.