- This is generally the initial appointment, we will provide you with a list of information that you will need to bring with you to this appointment. During the appointment we will collect all of the information that we need from you to complete the probate paperwork. Generally, these appointments take 30 minutes to complete
- Filling for Appointment as Personal Representative – This is the initial step to getting the court process started. We will prepare all of the documents that need to be filed with the court. All of the documents we provide are in pleading format, they are not fill in the blank forms. Once the documents are complete you can file them. You will then be issued legal documentation that will give you the right to act as Personal Representative of the estate. Once you have been granted that status we will give notice to all interested parties and publish notice in the newspaper for you.
- Inventory of the Estate – This step requires all of the decedent’s assets and liabilities to be listed out for review by the court. Assets include real property, such as a home, and personal property, such as a computer, china, furniture, appliances, etc. After we have prepared the inventory forms you will be able to file them with the court and proceed to the next step.
What exactly is probate? It is the court process that transfers assets from a person who has died to the heirs of that person. If there is a Will, the Will determines who gets the assets, otherwise, the assets of the estate will pass according to the statutory scheme established by the state.
There are different levels when it comes to probating an estate. Which level you choose ultimately depends on the value of your loved ones estate.
The first level is Small Estate Affidavit, which is available as an option if the personal property of the estate is less than $75,000 and the value of a real estate owned is less than $100,000. A small estate affidavit consists of two parts, an affidavit for personal property, and an affidavit for real property. You may need to use both, or just one, depending on the assets of the estate in question.
The second level is Informal Probate. If the assets are above the Small Estate Affidavit limits. This process can be done whether or not there was a Will. This level typically does not require court hearings, but there is a substantial amount of legal documents that have to be drafted for this process.