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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. The name of the executor of the will is mentioned in the will. 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. Estate distribution after the death of the owner is easier when there is a will. It helps to prevent misunderstanding or disagreement between beneficiaries of the estate when it comes to figuring out the wishes of the deceased. It is not really as easy as it seems to execute a will. It is because there is still a need for court validation required by law which could delay the execution. The executor first applies for a grant of probate in a probate court to validate the will. 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. From the time the executor files for a grant of probate, until it is grant and the estate is divided to its rightful beneficiaries, the probate court oversees the entire procedure.
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The will of the deceased and a solicitor approved oath has to be first presented by the executor to the probate court before he can be granted probate. The oath testifies to the commitment of the executor to execute the wishes of the deceased which is written 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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It takes the court a shorter time to grant probate if the will was properly 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. In this case, the court freezes the estate until the validity judgment is decided upon.