topic | opening probate
Step: open regular probate - non-upc states
The UPC (Uniform Probate Code) is a set of laws designed to simplify the probate process. Sixteen states have adopted the UPC in its entirety. For those states that do not follow the UPC, state specific probate procedures apply. The following is an outline of activities that may be necessary. Refer to this example, but confirm next steps with the county court. The use of an estate attorney may be useful or required.
Obtain and complete required forms.
Forms are generally available online at state court websites or from the county court office.
A pre-printed packet of forms may be available from the county court for a small fee.
Consult an estate attorney as needed. Minimal instructions and legal guidance are included, and the assistance provided by court staffs will vary.
Filing for probate will require scheduled hearings with the court. Schedule a hearing for the formal appointment of the executor, and submit formal legal notice to:
- family members, heirs, and beneficiaries
- known creditors
- unknown creditors – Publish a legal notice in the newspaper. Additional information may be found in the Topic: Gather Information and Make Notifications.
Forward completed paperwork to the court before the scheduled hearing.
An executor will be appointed and Probate will be opened at this hearing. Any objections to the appointed executor will be heard at this time. Letters of Testamentary will be issued, providing the executor with the necessary authority to administer the estate. Upon appointment, the executor may be required by the court to post a bond to protect the estate.
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