Generally, Probate is the process of dealing with someone’s possessions, money and final wishes after they die. It is the official proof of a will issued to an executor or an authorized person to execute the will. This adds a legal character to a Will. According the Indian Succession Act, 1925 a probate is a copy of will certified under the seal of a court of competent jurisdiction with grant of administration of the property of testator.
Probates are usually issued to the executors of a will in order to authorize them with an approval seal from the court. In case there are no executors of a will, a simple letter of administration is issued by the court instead of a probate. Once a probate is applied, the original copy is retained by the court, which provides the executor with a certificate proving that it is genuine along with a copy of the will.
Importance Of A Probate
The importance of having a probate, is that, it legalizes a will or the executor of the will to transfer a property in the name of the individual to whom the property is supposed to go to (Beneficiary). There are several reasons as to why a probate might become crucial. Take for instance, a property that is supposed to reach the destined person and he/she wants to occupy it.
Since as per the society register, the owner has died and left the will, unless the executor shows a probate stating their authority to transfer the property, the society might not agree to transfer it. A probate comes in handy even when a will is made outside the state of which the property/ assets are situated in the given state.
Applying For A Probate
According to the Indian Succession Act, a probate is issued with reference to Section 57 and Section 213. Probates are granted to the executor/(s) by the High Court, along with a copy of the will attached.
One can apply for a probate on the following criteria:
- After seven days of death of the Testator.
- Needs to be made with the help of a Lawyer or an advocate, to the High Court, under whose jurisdiction the property might fall.
Although, a lower court provides probate for immovable property of small value, a higher court provides probate required for high-value immovable assets.
Documents Required For Probate
While submitting an application for probate, the following documents need to be submit certain documents that prove:
- The will is genuine and is the last will made by the testator.
- The proof of death of the testator.
- That the will is executed in clear understating of the testator.
Granting Of Probate
Once your probate application is submitted, it will be verified by the authorities and notifications will be sent to the close relatives of the deceased, intimating them of the issue of probate. A general notice is published for the public to view and this will help raise any objection to the grant of probate.
A probate is granted if there are no objections received from the public or relatives and is done after the court fees are paid. The court fees depends on the value of immovable assets. A probate may take time and cost a tiny percentage of the inheritance. This includes court fees including Lawyer’s fees. In case there are multiple assets to handle and those assets are present in various states, a probate can be created. It comes in handy especially when high-value properties are being dealt with.
Who Is Responsible For Handling Probate?
Usually, the executor named in the will takes this job. In case, there is no will, or the will does not have the name of the executor in it, the probate court will name someone called an administrator to handle the process. Usually, the person selected is chosen as the closest relative or the person who inherits the bulk of the deceased person’s assets. If no formal probate proceeding is necessary, then the court does not appoint an estate administrator. Instead, a close relative or a friend will be selected as an informal property representative.
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