How to fill out probate forms

Probate describes the way courts manage the estate of a person who has died. Filling out probate forms correctly expedites the process for the descendant or heir who is to receive the deceased's property or assets. The process begins once the court determines that all fees and debts on the estate have been paid. Many counties allow you to fill out these forms online, but always keep a copy of any forms you complete and sign.

Determine the forms you need. Different forms are available depending on the value of the estate and whether the deceased left a will. If the descendant is a minor, further forms must be filed. Your probate lawyer can help you determine which forms are suitable for your situation.

Download or retrieve the proper probate forms from the county in which the deceased lived at the time of death. Purchase them from the county circuit court's clerk or download them online at the clerk's website.

Complete the forms with an ink pen or by clicking on the appropriate empty boxes in online PDF files. Read each section carefully before you begin entering your information.

Sign the forms and mark them as "confidential" if they contain personal information, such as Social Security numbers or banking information.

Things You'll Need

  • Forms
  • Lawyer
  • Pen
  • Computer
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About the Author

Emily Manthei holds a masters degree from the University of Edinburgh and has written for publications as diverse as the "Oxford Journal of Theological Studies," "Emanuel Levy Film Reviews," "USA Today" and "Northern Express Magazine." She also writes screenplays for short and feature films.