PROBATE OF WILL – All you need to know!
WILL has been defined under section 2(h) of the Indian Succession Act, 1925, as “Legal declaration of the intention of a person with respect to his property, which he desires to take effect after his death”. In other words, a WILL is a legal instrument vide which a person disposes off his property to a particular person as per his wish. Generally, WILL takes effect after the death of the person making the WILL. The validity of the WILL is proved by the signature of the testator and the attesting witnesses of the WILL but if there is a probate of will, then it increases the credibility of the WILL.
What is Probate and how long does it take?
Probate is a copy of the WILL duly certified under the seal of the Court to be genuine, authentic and last WILL. Probate of WILL adds a legal character to the WILL, facilitating the executor to distribute estate properly amongst the beneficiary. The entire process of Probate of WILL generally takes minimum six months to complete. However, if there is any objection from the public regarding the WILL, then the Probate of WILL process takes more time to get completed, depending upon the seriousness of the objection.
The Requirement of Probate if there is a WILL?
The rules vary from state to state and particularly, the probate of WILL made in Delhi is not required to be mandatorily probated. However, in normal practical parlance, most of the government authorities and departments have made probate of WILL as one of the requisite, when one relies upon the WILL.
What is the Procedure for Probate of WILL?
The procedure involves the following simple stages:
- Making of application to the concerned District Judge through a probate petition which must be duly signed and verified by or on behalf of the applicant and need to be accompanied by an affidavit from one of the witnesses to the WILL.
- Publication in the newspaper to call for objections from the general public and issuance of notice to the legal heirs of the testator other than the beneficiary and calling of report from the concerned SDM in respect of the value of the concerned estate.
- No objection from the legal heirs of the testator other than the beneficiary.
- Evidence of the person filing the probate petition and subsequently, hearing of final arguments.
- Passing of judgment for the grant of probate of the concerned WILL.
- Submission of requisite court fee, surety bond alongwith surety and subsequently upon acceptance, issuance of Certificate for probate of WILL.
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