A loved one has died. You are named as the Executor in his Will. How do you open an estate?
You must open an estate at the Probate Court in the county where the decedent lived at the time of his death if he owned assets which must be probated.* There are five steps to open as estate:
After this initial paperwork is filed, you will be required to post a fiduciary bond if the decedent did not have a Will, the Will does not waive bond, or you live out of state. In addition, you will need to notify the people listed on Form 1.0 that the decedent's Will has been admitted to probate (if applicable). Please consult with an experienced probate attorney to help you with the estate administration process.
*Please note that if the total value of the decedent's probate assets is under a certain amount, you may not need to open an estate. You may be able to file an Application to Relieve Estate from Administration or an Application for Summary Release from Administration. An experience probate attorney will help you determine which applications you need to file at Probate Court.