How to fill out probate forms

Written by emily manthei
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How to fill out probate forms
A probate court makes decisions about administering a will or an estate. (The Court of Appeals for the state of New York in Albany image by Ritu Jethani from Fotolia.com)

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.

Skill level:
Easy

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Things you need

  • Forms
  • Lawyer
  • Pen
  • Computer

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Instructions

  1. 1

    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.

  2. 2

    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.

  3. 3

    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.

  4. 4

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

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