PROBATE. The document which is issued, with an official copy of a will, by the Probate Office to an executor. The principal registry of wills is at Somerset Mouse, where the copy of a will may be seen on payment of one shilling. There are also District Registries where probate can be obtained of the wills of persons who were living in those districts at the time of their death, and a copy of a will which was proved in a District Registry may be seen in that District Registry, as \yell as at Somerset House, for a fee of one shilling.
An official copy of the whole or any part of a will, or an official certificate of the grant of any letters of administration may be obtained from the Registry or District Registry where the will has been proved or the administration granted on the payment of certain fees.
Until probate is exhibited or. if no will, letters of administration are exhibited, a banker does not allow the balance of the deceased's account to be transferred, or any securities which he may have left with the banker to be removed. The will must be proved under a penalty of within six months from the date of the death.
When probate is exhibited a banker enters full particulars in the probate book for future reference, and he is expected to see that the gross value of the estate as stated in the probate is not less than the money in his hands belonging to the deceased.
Where probate or letters of administration have been revoked, the banker is protected in any payments he may have bond fide made by reason of the probate or letters. By 20 & 21 Viet. c. 77 it is enacted : " Section 77. Where any probate or administration is revoked under this Act, all paymmts bon.i fide made to any executor or administrator under such probate or administration, before the revocation there of, shall be a legal discharge to the person making the same ; and the executor or administrator who shall have acted under any such revoked probate or administration may retain and reimburse himself in respect of any payments made by him which the person to whom probate or administration shall be afterwards granted might have lawfully made.
" 78. All persons and corporations making or permitting to be made any payment or transfer bond fide, upon any probate or letters of administration granted in respect of the estate of any deceased person under the authority of this Act, shall be indemnified and protected in so doing, notwithstanding any defect or circumstance whatsoever affecting the validity of such probate or letters of administration." (See EXECUTOR, LETTERS OF ADMINISTRATION, PROBATE REGISTER.)