A court having jurisdiction over probate, administration, and other matters relating to wills (especially whether they are formally valid) and intestate succession.
The English Court of Probate was established in 1857 by the Court of Probate Act (20 & 21 Vict. c. 77) to replace the various ecclesiastical, manorial, and other courts which previously had authority to grant probate and letters of administration. Although jurisdiction over such matters was transferred to the new Probate, Divorce, and Admiralty Division of the High Court in 1873, and then in 1971 divided between the Chancery and Family Divisions of the High Court, the term Court of Probate is still sometimes used in England to refer to these divisions.
Mid 17th century.