Probate (a term coming from a Latin word meaning ‘proof’) is the procedure by which the courts recognise a will as authentic.
The executors of the will must obtain probate from the court so that they have authority to deal with the deceased’s assets (and liabilities) and to enable distribution of the estate in accordance with the will.
The Registrar of the High Court carries out probate after receiving an application from the executors. This task involves establishing that it was in fact the testator (the maker of the will) who died, that the will was properly signed and attested, and that executors have been appointed. For advice on estate matters we would recommend that you contact your solicitor or an organisation such as the Public Trustee in your state.