When someone dies, we often hear people referring to “getting probate.” An application for letters probate from the court refers to the process of formally proving a deceased person’s will is valid. An executor is then authorized to act on behalf of a deceased person’s estate, including distributing the net assets to beneficiaries. Once done, banks, the Land Titles Office, and other parties will assist the executor in carrying out the terms of the will and release assets for distribution. This application, which includes providing formal notices to spouses, beneficiaries, and sometimes others, may not be necessary, as some banks and other third parties may accept an executor’s authority without the application if the assets are jointly owned or are not significant in value. The process will be necessary if the deceased person owned land in his or her own name, or with someone else as tenants-in-common. Contact a lawyer to find out what approach is best in your circumstances.