Probate

“Probate”: refers to the court supervised process of the orderly transfer of the decedent’s assets to those who are entitled to them.

You may seek the advice of an attorney at any time during the probate process.

Probate Process

  • Do I need to open a probate?  
    • Read through the brief description of different types of probate below to determine which is appropriate for your situation.
    • Select the procedure guideline for further instruction.
      • “Informal” administration (PDF):  the administration of the decedent's estate, with or without a will, without the continuous supervision of the probate court.
      • “Summary” administration: either summary assignment (PDF) or summary settlement (PDF) of estates of a decedent, with or without a will, having a value of less than $50,000.
      • “Formal" administration is the administration of the decedent's estate, with or without a will, under the continuous supervision of the probate court. In formal administration, the personal representative must appear in court by an attorney.
  • Complete the forms under the “to open” section of the selected procedure guideline.
  • To open the Probate, file the completed forms and the original Will and any original codicil, if there is one, with the Register in probate office.
  • Continue to follow the procedure guideline.

Additional Resources

Genealogy

Interested in genealogy? Probate files are open to the public. The Probate office has paper files from the 1850s to 1940 and from 1965 to the present. Appointments encouraged; please call the Register in Probate office to schedule a visit.