What is probate?
Probate is a legal system which has been designed to regulate the passing down of ownership rights of the assets in the estate of a deceased loved one to his heirs and loved ones. Without the probate process, the assets remain owned by the deceased person and they won’t be accessible by his loved ones. This means the heirs to the estate cannot make use of these assets.
The probate process is a legal means through which the probate court determines the validity of the will and last testament of the testator. If the probate court finds irregularities such as capacity issues in the will, it will declare the will invalid.
Also the probate process is used by the court to determine what happens to the estate of a deceased person who died intestate. This means that if a person dies without having a will, the court will use to process of probate to determine what happens to the person’s estate. The courts appoint an executor and decide how the estate will be distributed among the legal heirs of the estate. This is all based on the law of the state
What are probate court forms?
Probate court forms are legal court documents with which the court uses to communicate in order to open, process, and close estate. These are conducted at the county level; different county may have their different set of forms.
Help of the court regarding probate court forms
It is necessary to note that when it comes to the issue of probate court forms, you are totally on your own. The court renders no assistance what so ever to determine which forms to get or how to get them. Most times they will say they don’t offer legal advice.
Often, the set of rules regulating this process vary from county to county and from state to state.
For some other courts, they are a bit different and can ease things up a bit for you. Unlike the others which offers no assistance to determine necessary forms and how to obtain them, some others have put in place systems which can assist you. For instance, some court has self-help programs, packets; they even go as far as having staffs which are dedicated to helping you fill your form.
Most times, courts have this mentality that as a citizen, you won’t be able to fill out probate court forms. They feel you must carry out this process by the help of an attorney. But this is not exactly true as there are only two states which have specific legislation requiring an attorney for probate; these states are Texas and Lowa.
Some examples of probate forms include
- Demand for notice of proceedings for probate of will or appointment of personal representative
- Petition for appointment of an administrator
- Petition for probate of will and appointment of personal representative
- Proof of will
- Notice of hearing on petition
- Bond of personal representative
- Qualifying affidavit of personal sureties
- Acceptance of appointment as personal representative
- Designation of process agent
- Letters of administration
- Letters testamentary
- Notice of appointment as administrator
- Notice of appointment as executor
- Notice to surviving spouse
- Request for special notice of hearing
- Petition for award of statutory allowances
- Inventory of decedent’s estate
- Accounting by personal representative
- Notice of filing of accounts
- Citation of failure to present account
- Affidavit for collection of small estate by distribute
- Petition for appointment of guardian of the person and estate
- Notice of hearing for appointment
- Application for written notice etc.
Question: can I totally carry out the process myself with the assistance from the internet?
Answer: to some extent you might be able to help yourself out but, it will definitely get to a time when the help and guardians of an attorney will be needed.
Role of an attorney
Legal issues should be given to legal professionals to handle. Trying to do certain things yourself or getting help online might not be the best option for you most times as you might make errors which are irreversible or which will be very expensive to reverse if at all they are reversible. This is why you should always contact an attorney for assistance and guardians. We offer consultation services and we are also open for hire. Do well to contact us today.