The Applicant and Acceptance must be signed in the presence of a notary public prior to submission to the court. The Applicant is swearing that the statements made in these documents are complete, accurate, and truthful to the best of his/her knowledge.
- Submit an original death certificate and the Application, Order, Acceptance and Letters Testamentary/Letters of Administration.
- Submit at least one set of copes for the court to endorse stamp (the court keeps the original documents submitted to the court) or a fee for copes. Copies of pleadings should be plaed behind the original of each document.
- Submit a self-addressed stamped envelope if he/she want the copies mailed back.
The court will review the documents before docketing the case to make sure there are not problems. Once the case is docketed, we cannot make any refunds.
After the judge signs the order appointing the personal represenative, the court issues Letters Testamentary (when there is a will) or Letters of Administration (where there is no will). The letters give personal representatives the legal authority to conduct the decedent's estate business.
Estate papers (called pleadings), the original Will, if any, and proper payment are presented together to the Court for review and appointment of the personal representative and/or probate of the Will, if any. The initial Application must be signed by the applicant in the presence of a notary public and should include an original Death Certificate. Applicants must submit complete, accurate and truthful pleadings to the Court.
If, for any reason, the Court does not accept the estate, all payments and pleadings are returned to the applicant. Once the Court opens the probate case, no refunds are possible, but a receipt is given to the filing party.
Examples of matters to arise in a probate case include, but are not limited to:
- Legally changing title to real property owned by the decedent to name of the new owner(s)
- Legally changing title to personal property, such as bank accounts, stocks, bonds, etc.
- Paying creditors
- Filing decedent's income taxes and estate taxes, if necessary