Probate / Contested Probate

Probate and Contested Probate

Probate is the process in which a court oversees the payment of debts and distribution of assets of someone who has recently passed away. There are many forms of probate, and the type of probate required depends on factors like whether or not the deceased created a Will, the type and value of assets left in the deceased’s name, and who the beneficiaries of the estate are.

Areas of Practice

Probate Options With a Will

The probate process is designed to be simple for estates in which the deceased left a valid Will. You are required to deposit the original Will with the probate court. While both a copy and a handwritten Will can be admitted to probate, a typed and self-proved Will (typically drafted by an attorney) provides for a simpler, smoother probate. Probate options for an estate with a Will include:

  • Probate of Will and Issuance of Letters Testamentary (Independent)
  • Probate of Will and Issuance of Letter Testamentary (Dependent)
  • Muniment of Title

Probate Options Without a Will

When the deceased did not leave a Will, probate of the estate may be more difficult. Typically this process involves more family members and requires additional witnesses (other than heirs) before the probate court can sign an order. Probate options for an estate without a Will include:

  • Heirship Determination and Issuance of Letters of Administration (Independent)
  • Heirship Determination and Issuance of Letters of Administration (Dependent)
  • Heirship Determination without Administration
  • Small Estate Affidavit
  • Affidavit of Heirship