Proof in Solemn Form Definition:
The pronouncement by a court that a will is formally approved and not subject to later contest barring fraud or the discovery of a later will.
Proof in Common Form
Proof (of a will) in solemn form is also known as proof in form of law and proof per testes.
Compared the the summary process of proof in common form, proof in solemn form is more complex in procedures and forms and may require opening a file in a higher court. It usually delays the administration of an estate and costs more if legal fees are required which, for an application for proof in solemn form, is generally advisable.
In Volume 17(2) of Halsbury's Laws of England (Executors and Administrators), the authors write:
"If there is any doubt as to the validity of a will or any apprehension that there may be opposition ... it is open to the executor or any person with a beneficial interest under the will to prove it in solemn form."
Rule 61(13) of the 2009 Rules of Court (Supreme Court of British Columbia) assists in appreciating the utility and effect of proof in solemn form:
"On application for proof of a will in solemn form, copies of the petition shall be served on all persons having an interest in upholding or contesting the validity of the will, and the petition shall contain a warning to those persons that they will be bound by the result of the proceeding"
- Duhaime, Lloyd, Proof in Common Form
- Martyn, J. R. and Caddick, N., Williams, Mortimer and Sunnucks on Executors, Administrators and Probate, 19th Ed. (London: Sweet & Maxwell, 2008), page 288.
- Vogt, J., Ed., Probate and Estate Administration Practice Manual (BC) (Vancouver: Continuing Legal Education Society, 2008), pages 18-16 and 18-17.
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