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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. The legal term for someone who dies with a drafted will is dying testate. 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. The executor is the person entrusted to execute the will after the death of the person. 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 easy, however, to execute a will. The execution of the will can be delayed because according to law, there should be a court validation before a will is executed. The executor first applies for a grant of probate in a probate court to validate the will. Probate is a legal process where the estate of the deceased person is identifies, validated, and distributed under the strict supervision of the court. The probate process also includes the payment of all debts to creditors and the payment of all taxes such as death and inheritance taxes. 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. They oversee the probate process right 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 beneficiaries.
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The executor will have to first present to the probate court registry the will of the deceased and a solicitor approved oath before he can be granted probate. 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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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. Until the court makes a validity judgment, the estate remains frozen.