When do you need a Probate?
Many times, after the death of a relative, who left an inheritance, it is unclear how to act.
In order to comply with the provisions of the will and divide the estate among the heirs, you'll have to ask for a “Probate” (or confirmation of will order) from the inheritance registrar. This order is actually a notice from the court that the will is valid and correct. You will not be able to take any action on the property (apartment sale, transfer of funds from a bank account and any other act) without having such an order.
Issuance of probate
The heirs or other person of interest in the estate need to submit the correct request to the inheritance registrar in the area of the deceased’s home. The request should be submitted in three copies and relevant documents should be attached, such as: death certificate, notice to all other heirs informing them of this request and, of course, the will itself. There is a fee to the inheritance registrar that you need to pay as well as a fee for publication in the daily newspapers, about filing this request.The reason for this is that any person has the right to object to this request within two weeks (14 days) of publication in the newspapers so as to prevent unwanted surprise underhanded opportunism etc. A copy of the deceased’s will should be submitted to the inheritance registrar as soon after the death as possible. It is best not to wait because failure to provide a copy constitutes a criminal offense you could be sentenced up to three months of imprisonment or be fined. Contact a lawyer as soon as possible in order to be granted probate without delay.
Objecting the probate
If a close person to you has passed away, a request for a probate has been submitted to the inheritance registrar but you believe that the will is false or was signed under pressure, or is unjust – you can submit an objection to the probate. This request is submitted to the same inheritance registrar to which the request for probate was submitted. You need to justify your request with proper reasons for the objection. Your window of opportunity is short-timed. You have only 14 days from the day of publication in the newspapers to submit your objection to the probate.
There are a few reasons that you can object to the probate:
- The will doesn’t reflect the wishes of the deceased, because he/she was influenced unfairly by someone.
- The will was written by the deceased when under pressure, threat or coercion.
- The will was clearly in favor of the person witnessing it or involved in drawing it.
- The will was written when the deceased was unable to think straight (for example - has Alzheimer) or was unfit (physically or mentally) to leave a will.
Obviously, this list is partial and there might be other reasons for objecting the probate. In any case, after submitting the request for objection, the registrar will pass the case to the family court for a hearing of the objections. It is important to understand that the court will not readily nullify the will
and you need hard evidence and substance to your claims against the will.As mentioned above, your window of opportunity is short-timed so, if you believe that will be wronged by the probate and you want to object, contact a lawyer, the registrar or the court ASAP so as to insure that you get what is due to you.
What is a succession order and when will it be issued?
What do you do if the deceased didn’t leave a will? In the absence of a will, the law will establish how the estate should be divided and who the deceased’s heirs are (Law of Succession 7525-1965).If you consider yourself to be an heir, you need to request a succession order from the inheritance registrar, who will determine according to the law, in the succession order, who the deceased’s heirs are and what part each heir gets.Please note: the deceased’s property cannot be given to anyone without a succession order.
Issuing a succession order
The heirs of the deceased need to submit a request to the inheritance registrar (one of the heirs can submit the request in the name of all the heirs). Heirs by law are first-degree relatives i.e. spouse, parents, brother/ sister, children etc. The request should be submitted to the inheritance registrar in the area of the deceased’s home.As for a probate, the request should be submitted in three copies and relevant documents should be attached, such as: death certificate, notice to all other heirs informing them of this request (with confirmation of posting by registered mail). There is a fee to the inheritance registrar that you need to pay as well as a fee for publication in the daily newspapers, about filing this request. The publication will enable any person who believes he/she have a right to the estate (or part of it) to object to the succession order and claim, for example, that he/she have a will of the deceased.After the request is received, the registrar will pass the case to the Administrator General, for his response and to the newspapers, for publication. If, after the publication and the response of the Administrator General, there are no objections to the succession order, the case is returned to the registrar and he will authorize it and provide a legally signed succession order. The whole procedure of issuing a succession order might take some months, so, it is best to submit the request as early as possible, in order to prevent delays in transfer of assets to the heirs.With the succession order you can claim your part of the estate in the banks, Real Estate Registration Offices (so as to transfer the rights of the property to your name) etc.I’d like to emphasis that, without a succession order, you will not be able to obtain your part of the estate therefor, it is important to request one as early as possible.This article is not intended as legal advice and should not be relied on it as such.