probate

noun
pro·​bate | \ ˈprō-ˌbāt How to pronounce probate (audio) , British also -bit \

Definition of probate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the action or process of proving before a competent judicial authority that a document offered for official recognition and registration as the last will and testament of a deceased person is genuine broadly : the process of administering an estate
b : the judicial determination of the validity of a will
2 : the officially authenticated copy of a probated will
3a : a court with jurisdiction over determination of the validity of wills and administration of estates and sometimes matters involving minors or adults judged incompetent : probate court filed a petition in probate
b : legal matters that fall under the jurisdiction of a probate court a law practice limited to probate

probate

verb
pro·​bate | \ ˈprō-ˌbāt How to pronounce probate (audio) \
probated; probating

Definition of probate (Entry 2 of 2)

transitive verb

1 : to establish (a will) by probate as genuine and valid
2 : to put (a convicted offender) on probation

Did you know?

Ever since people have written wills, those wills have had to be proven genuine by a judge. Without a probate process, greedy acquaintances or relatives could write up a fake will stating that all the person's wealth belonged to them. To establish a will as genuine, it must generally be witnessed and stamped by someone officially licensed to do so (though wills have sometimes been approved even when they were just written on a piece of scrap paper, with no witnesses). Today we use probate more broadly to mean everything that's handled in probate court, a special court that oversees the handling of estates (the money and property left when someone dies), making sure that everyone eventually receives what is properly theirs.

Examples of probate in a Sentence

Noun Her will was offered for probate by the relatives. The case will now go to probate. Verb The court will probate the will.
Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Usually, probate will be necessary only if a tenant in common dies. Gary Singer, Sun Sentinel, 5 May 2022 While the litigation unfolded, Chicago probate judge Harry Horner appointed an administrator for the dogs. Celia Storey, Arkansas Online, 28 Mar. 2022 Isn’t avoiding probate a reason to continue with a trust? Liz Weston, oregonlive, 10 Apr. 2022 County offices will remain open but only for revenue and probate services. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, 6 Apr. 2022 Though legendary for his tight control over his IP rights, the iconic artist died without a will – sparking a complex process known as probate in which courts decide how to disperse a deceased person’s estate. Bill Donahue, Billboard, 3 Mar. 2022 During Thursday's probate hearing, which was held only in regard to the adult Turpin cases, Potashner disclosed to the court that the firm had also been unable to access the records for the minors. Olivia Rubin, ABC News, 28 Feb. 2022 Using the Windham town records as a model, Eves will walk the audience through the basics of using land and probate records to research the history of their houses. courant.com, 25 Feb. 2022 Being a lawyer has led him to be closer to community residents, who use his advice for estate planning, probate, adoption and guardianship. Alixel Cabrera, The Salt Lake Tribune, 16 Oct. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb During his opening remarks, Proto ripped into Democrats — saying Republicans are prepared to fight this year in every race from governor to probate judge. Christopher Keating, Hartford Courant, 6 May 2022 When a spouse passes away and the spouses owned their home with right of survivorship, should the surviving spouse go to probate to sell the house? Gary Singer, Sun Sentinel, 5 May 2022 Zimring, a lawyer, and her husband, an electrical contractor, were open to homes that needed remodeling, homes sold in trust or probate sales. Los Angeles Times, 29 Mar. 2022 And if an eligible heir contests the will, probate can take years, Gregory Matalon, an estate attorney based in New York, told me. Stephanie H. Murray, The Atlantic, 29 Sep. 2021 Lindell is expected to return to Alabama to examine the equipment and talk to probate judges, Merrill said. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al, 21 Sep. 2021 Her lawyers asked the judge to move the case to probate and appoint an independent person to oversee handing out Reinhart’s assets. Anna Wilder And Elisabell Velazquez, orlandosentinel.com, 4 Sep. 2021 His will was admitted to probate and soon thereafter the executor transferred the $150,000 savings account to Charlie. Dallas News, 13 June 2021 The locality that will probate the estate is likely unique as well. Randy Warren, Forbes, 8 Apr. 2021 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'probate.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of probate

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Verb

1570, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for probate

Noun

Middle English probat, from Latin probatum, neuter of probatus, past participle of probare

Learn More About probate

Time Traveler for probate

Time Traveler

The first known use of probate was in the 15th century

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near probate

probasidium

probate

probate bond

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Statistics for probate

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Probate.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/probate. Accessed 25 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for probate

probate

noun
pro·​bate | \ ˈprō-ˌbāt How to pronounce probate (audio) \

Legal Definition of probate

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : the process of proving in a court of competent jurisdiction (as a probate court) that an instrument is the valid last will and testament of a deceased person broadly : the process of administering an estate
b : the judicial determination that a will is valid
2 : the officially authenticated copy of a probated will
b : matters that fall under the jurisdiction of a probate court

probate

transitive verb
probated; probating

Legal Definition of probate (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : to establish (a will) as valid through probate
2a : to put (a convicted offender) on probation
b : to replace (a sentence) with probation

History and Etymology for probate

Noun

Latin probatum, neuter of probatus, past participle of probare to test, approve, prove

More from Merriam-Webster on probate

Nglish: Translation of probate for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of probate for Arabic Speakers

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about probate

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