Which Probate Court Has Jurisdiction Over the Decedentís Estate?
The probate court that has jurisdiction over a deceased personís estate is generally in the county where the decedent resided or was domiciled at the time of death, regardless of the location where death occurred.
If the deceased owned real estate in a state other than the one in which he was domiciled at death, the personal representative or executor of the estate should contact the probate court in the county where such real property is located. The probate court in the county where such property is located generally has jurisdiction over the probate of the decedentís property in that state.
A separate probate proceeding or
ancillary probate may need to be filed in the county where such property is located. If the estate includes property located in more than one state, consult a probate attorney for assistance.
How to Post an Executorís Bond
For information on how to obtain an executorís bond, also called a probate bond or surety bond, see executor bonds.
Where Do I Get the Forms Used in Probate Proceedings?
Many probate courts now make the most commonly used probate forms available for free online on their websites. However, the online availability of probate court forms varies widely by jurisdiction. In some states, you can obtain all the forms needed to probate an estate from the courtís website. In other states, almost nothing will be provided online and you will need to hire a probate lawyer for assistance with every aspect of the process.
If you need probate court forms to administer an estate, visit the website of the local court first to see what type of information is available. If you do not find what you need, call the court clerk or the self help assistance center at the court office. You can also go the probate court in person to request a copy of the probate court forms they provide.
How to Get Documents to Prove I Am Executor
If the estate is subject to probate, the court will typically issue letters authorizing an executor, personal representative or administrator to settle the estate. Although the laws on probate are different from state to state, to obtain these letters, the estate generally must be admitted to probate. Depending on the circumstances, the court may grant
letters testamentary, letters of administration or a similar type of legal document to the person authorized to administer the decedent's estate.
Is My Parent or Stepparent Required to File Deceased Parentís Will With Probate Court?
The requirements for filing a decedentís will with the probate court are a matter of state law. Therefore, the answer to this question varies, depending on the particular state in which your parent was domiciled at the time of death. For specific will filing requirements, consult a probate lawyer licensed in that state and visit the website of the probate court for the county in which your parent was domiciled. For more information, see file will of deceased.