Define: Probate

UK Accounting Glossary

Definition: Probate

Quick Summary of Probate

A probate is the legal process in which a will is reviewed to determine whether it is valid and authentic.

What is the dictionary definition of Probate?

Dictionary Definition

  1. legal The legal process of verifying the legality of a will.
  2. legal A copy of a legally recognised and qualified will.
  3. short for probate court

The word “probate” is the term generally used to describe what happens to a person’s property when he or she dies.


Full Definition of Probate

In England and Wales Probate is the word normally used to describe the legal and financial processes involved in dealing with the property, money and possessions (called the assets) of a person who has died.

The primary purpose of a probate proceeding is to make sure all of the decedent’s debts are paid, and that the remaining property is transferred to the persons who are legally entitled to it.  In the UK, different methods are used, depending on the fair market value of the assets and how title is held.

Before the next of kin or Executor named in the Will can claim, transfer, sell or distribute any of the deceased’s assets they may have to apply for Probate.

When Probate has been granted through a Grant of Probate or Letters of Administration the next of kin or Executor can start to deal with the deceased person’s assets in accordance with their Will.


Synonyms For Probate

certification, approval, registration, accreditation

Cite Term

To help you cite our definitions in your bibliography, here is the proper citation layout for the three major formatting styles, with all of the relevant information filled in.

Page URL
Modern Language Association (MLA):
Probate. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. March 28, 2020
Chicago Manual of Style (CMS):
Probate. Payroll & Accounting Heaven Ltd. (accessed: March 28, 2020).
American Psychological Association (APA):
Probate. Retrieved March 28, 2020, from website:

Definition Sources

Definitions for Probate are sourced/syndicated and enhanced from:

  • A Dictionary of Economics (Oxford Quick Reference)
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Accounting
  • Oxford Dictionary Of Business & Management

This glossary post was last updated: 25th January 2020.