Probate is a legal procedure that confirms a will is legally valid and can be acted on. The executor of someone’s estate may need to “probate the will” in order to distribute the estate.
Applying for probate involves providing the original will and special forms to court. If everything is in order, the court issues a “grant of probate“. The executor can then show the grant of probate to banks and others who hold assets of the estate, confirming that the executor has the authority to act for the estate.
Not all wills need to be probated. If the estate involves less than $25,000, probate is not typically required.
Learn more about what’s involved in probating an estate (and when it’s not required) in our page on the duties of the executor.