Probate is the judicial process whereby a will is “proved” in a court of law and accepted as a valid document that is the true last testament of the deceased, or whereby the estate is settled according to the laws of intestacy in the state of residence [or real property] of the deceased at time of death in the absence of a legal will.
The granting of probate is the first step in the legal process of administering the estate of a deceased person, resolving all claims and distributing the deceased person’s property pursuant to the terms of the will. The Supreme Court of WA (Probate Division) decides the legal validity of a deceased person’s will and grants its approval, also known as granting probate, to the executor. A grant of probate officially appoints the executor (or personal representative), named in the will, as having legal power to dispose of the deceased person’s assets in the manner specified in the will. When the will is probated it becomes the legal instrument that may be enforced by the executor in the courts if necessary, including any challenge to the deceased person’s intentions, expressed in the will.
When a person dies without a will (that person is said to have died ‘intestate’) then the legal personal representative is known as the “administrator”. Any person intending to be the administrator is then required to apply to the court for Letters of Administration. Any person who is entitled to a distribution from the deceased’s estate is entitled to be an administrator.
Let my extensive experience take the stress out in dealing with Probate applications and applications for Letters of Administration and assist you to navigate your way through an emotional time with the passing of a loved one.