Step by step process to obtain probate certificate


Legal process by which the assets of a deceased are properly distributed to the beneficiaries or heirs through an executor named in the will, or (if he or she died without a will) according to the local law by a court appointed administrator.

If there was no will, probate is necessary. Probate helps to determine the beneficiaries and to distribute the decedent’s assets and title to property.

Probate includes:

·         Demonstrating in court that a perished individual's will is legitimate (generally a normal issue)

·         Recognizing and reviewing the expired individual's property

·         Having the property assessed

·         Making good on obligations and charges, and

·         Disseminating the rest of the property as the will (or state law, if there's no will) coordinates.


Probate Process:

Step 1: Prepare and file "petition for probate" by:

·         Proving the validity of a will

·         Choosing an estate administrator, executor, or representative

·         Identifying all heirs and other relatives


Step 2: Court hearing on petition for probate

Step 3: Issue the following documents, if applicable:

·         Letters of administration

·         Letters testamentary

·         Orders for probate, duties and liabilities


Step 4: Issue probate bond (if ordered)

Step 5: Notice to creditors

Step 6: Notice to Department of Health Services (if the decedent received medical benefits)

Step 7: Estate inventory and appraisal to calculate the estate's value

Step 8: Pay bills and taxes:

·         All applicable taxes, state and/or federal

·         Estate administration costs

·         Family allowances


Step 9: Accept or deny creditor claims

Step 10: Notice to franchise tax board (if the heir is an out-of-state resident)

Step 11: Tax clearance letters

Step 12: File petition for final distribution and accounting

Step 13: Hearing on petition for final distribution and accounting

Step 14: Order approving final distribution and accounting

Step 15: Distribution of assets to heirs

Step 16: Final discharge order

Step 17: Final distribution of estate funds, concluding probate


Documents Required For Probate:

·       A copy of the will, if there was one created.

·       The municipal death certificate of the testator.

·       A letter stating that the testator was off sound mind, when he or she made the will.

·       Proof that the will has been executed by the testator.
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