Decedents' Estates

Filing Procedures

  • Note: The Court is prohibited by law (Sec. 1211 of the Estates and Protected Individuals Code [EPIC]) from providing legal advice and completing forms. This item provides general information concerning the opening of a decedent’s estate and may be useful as a guide. If you have any questions, consider contacting an attorney for assistance.

Unsupervised Administration (DE Case Type)

Informal Proceedings ("Petition")

Note: A death certificate must also be filed with the Court (a certified copy is not required). If the death certificate is not available, alternative information (i.e., obituary, funeral program, notice, or invoice, religious/memorial card, autopsy report, etc.) must be provided.

Formal Proceedings (“Petition”)

Formal proceedings are commenced by filing a “Petition for Probate and/or Appointment of Personal Representative (Testate / Intestate)” (PC 559 (PDF)) and other related papers. After either a court hearing with proper notice to all interested persons or upon filing Waiver and Consents from all interested persons, the Probate Court may admit a will, determine the heirs of the deceased, and appoint a personal representative. Once the personal representative is appointed, they qualify to act by filing an Acceptance of Appointment (PC 571) and any required bond. The personal representative will proceed with unsupervised administration until the estate is ready to be closed. A petition for a formal proceeding on any aspect of administration may be filed at any point. A judge then enters any applicable orders after either a court hearing with proper notice or upon filing of Waivers and Consents.

  • Forms Needed:
  • Filing Fee - $150 plus $12 Certified copy of letters

Note: A death certificate must also be filed with the Court (a certified copy is not required). If the death certificate is not available, alternative information (i.e., obituary, funeral program, notice, or invoice, religious/memorial card, autopsy report, etc.) must be provided.

Supervised Administration (DA Case Type)

Supervised administration may be requested by checking the appropriate box on the “Petition for Probate and/or Appointment of Personal Representative (Testate/Intestate)” (PC 559 (PDF)). [Note: the petition and other papers are the same as those used when filing an unsupervised estate using formal proceedings.] Supervised administration may also be requested at any time during unsupervised administration. If supervised administration is granted, the personal representative (unless otherwise ordered by the Court), will proceed with the same powers as a personal representative who is not supervised except that in supervised administration a personal representative may not make any distributions to heirs or devisees without a prior court order. There are numerous documents that must be filed with the Probate Court during supervised administration.

*Forms may or may not be needed depending on the facts.