‘Probate’ means a copy of ‘Will’ certified under the seal of the court of competent jurisdiction with a grant of administration of the estate of the testator. The Probate establishes genuineness of the Will and gives authority to the Executor to administer the estate in terms of the Will.
A probate is mandatory if the Will or codicil has been made by a Hindu in any of the three Presidency towns i.e., Kolkata, and the municipal limits of metro cities of Chennai and Mumbai, or, if the immovable property is situated in these cities. In all other cases probate is optional in respect of the Will made by Hindus.
Probate of the Will in respect of the Will written by Muslims and Christians is optional. Probate of the Will in respect of the Will made by Parsis is mandatory if the Parsi testator died after 1962 and the Will was made within the territories of the State of Bengal, Bihar, Orissa and Assam and within local limits of the ordinary Original Civil Jurisdiciton of the High Courts of Madras and Bombay.
Probate is granted only to the Executor appointed by the Testator. When several executors are appointed, probate may be granted to them all simultaneously or at different times. A Will that requires to be probated loses its legal enforceability if it is not probated by a court of competent jurisdiction.