topic | closing probate

Step 2: close probate (informal and summary cases only)

To close the estate using an informal or summary process, simply bring the necessary paperwork to the court in which probate was opened.

Activity 1
  Research Required Documents

Probate procedures and documents vary by state and often by county.  Before going to the courthouse, research the necessary paperwork and forms. Confirm with the courthouse which documents are required.  These may include:

Activity 2
  Complete Court Forms 

Forms required by the state or county court may be found on their website.  Download and fill in the necessary information.  Names of forms may vary by county and state.  Counties may also offer the documents in a printed packet for a small fee.  These packets may come with minimal instructions.  The extent of help received from court staffs will vary.  Consider consulting an estate attorney for assistance.   

Activity 3
  File Papers with the Court

Bring the completed legal forms to the courthouse and request that probate be closed.  The estate is deemed closed one year after the initial filing.

Keep copies of all paperwork. This will save time and aggravation in the event that items are misplaced.

Be prepared to provide an original death certificate as well as your own identification such as a driver’s license.

Filling out the forms before going to the courthouse will save time.  However, don’t sign anything until you are in the presence of a court representative.  Signatures may need witnessing.

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