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The FindLaw Legal Dictionary -- free access to over 8260 definitions of legal terms. Search for a definition or browse our legal glossaries.


probate n

[Latin probatum, neuter of probatus, past participle of probare to test, approve, prove]
1 a : 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
: the process of administering an estate
b : the judicial determination that a will is valid
2 : the officially authenticated copy of a probated will
3 a : probate court
b : matters that fall under the jurisdiction of a probate court
vt pro·bat·ed
1 : to establish (a will) as valid through probate
2 a : to put (a convicted offender) on probation
b : to replace (a sentence) with probation

Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.

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