Probate is a certificate from the Probate Office stating that the Executor has proved the Will to be the last one made by you and that he/she is the Executor named. The Probate Office will provide a certificate (Grant of Probate) that recognises the Executor is the authorised person to proceed to distribute the assets.
You may not need Probate – you need to get some advice as to whether or not you need it. Probate protects the Executor in case of any disputes, but it will involve applying to the Supreme Court, as well as additional expenses including fairly large court filing fees and solicitor’s fees. Whether or not you need Probate will depend upon the nature of your assets and how they are to be distributed. Different banks have different rules in relation to whether or not Probate will be necessary.
An Executor can apply for Probate through a solicitor or Public Trustee or by completing the necessary summons himself/herself and submitting it with a copy of the Will, death certificate, list of assets and liabilities and a copy of a newspaper advertisement that must be placed 14 days earlier.
A Grant of Probate can be made only when there is a Will available. In the case of a person dying without a Will (intestate) the Courts step in and distribute the estate to the next of kin according to the intestacy rules.
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