What Documents Do You Need to Probate an Estate?


Quick Answer

The probate forms needed vary from state to state, but the process usually begins by filing a request for probate in the appropriate court, reports Nolo. Applicants need the original wills and death certificates when filing the requests.

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Full Answer

The applicant may need to publish a notice of probate in the local newspaper as part of the application process, Nolo explains. Notice of Probate forms should be mailed to any creditors that the applicant knows of. A Notice of Probate form must also be furnished to each beneficiary, as may be required by the court, and the court has forms that the applicant needs to provide that show proof of the service and publication of the Notice of Probate.

The applicant may need to prove the will is valid with statements supplied by those who witnessed the signing of the will, and there may be other forms that the court requests be filed, Nolo advises. The executor's job is to keep the assets safe during the probate process and pay all of the outstanding bills. The executor also needs to distribute the property to the beneficiaries and make a petition to the court one last time to request the estate be formally closed.

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