A will taken to court by the executor and sworn to by one or more of the witnesses. It is evidence that the testator had died before the date of probate (proving). The witnesses had to appear to verify that they had seen the testator sign the will, not that they knew what the will said. After a will was proved to the court's satisfaction, the executor and administrator (if any) were authorized to carry it out. They could sell, divide, rent, or otherwise dispose of property under the provisions of the will.