How Do You Start the Probate Process?


Quick Answer

The probate process begins by filing a request to probate in the appropriate court of the county the deceased was living at the time of his death, says Nolo. The original will and a death certificate must accompany the request.

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Full Answer

After the individual applying for probate has filed his request with the appropriate court, he needs to publish a notice of probate in the local newspapers, states Nolo. Also, notices should be mailed to any creditors the applicant is aware of. A notice to each beneficiary is also required by the court, and the court needs to see proof that the notice was published and mailed as required.

The court may require the posting of a bond to protect the estate from losses, accordin to Nolo. The amount of the bond depends on the size of the estate. The applicant needs to prove the will is valid by providing statements by those who witnessed the signing of the will, and he must file all other documents required by the court.

The executor needs to keep the property safe during the probate process, and once all of the bills have been paid off and the distributions have been made to the beneficiaries, the executor petitions the court one last time to formally close the estate, says Nolo.

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