Informal Probate is a method of administering an estate of a deceased individual without the intervention of the Probate Judge. The Probate Register handles all Independent Probate files. Since inventories and accounts are not required to be filed with the Court, Informal Probate preserves privacy. Administration of this type of estate should be simpler, faster, and less expensive.
Estates must be administered by the Informal Personal Representative or an attorney representing the Personal Representative. The Court cannot give legal advice, therefore, employees cannot assist in administering the estate. Court employees can provide direction and forms which would be required to probate an estate.
How to Start an Informal Probate Estate:
ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS TO BE FILED:
- File the original Application for Informal Probate and/or Appointment of Personal Representative (PC 558).
(NOTE: File in the probate court in the county where the deceased individual resided)
- Testimony, Interested Persons (PC 565)
- Original Will (if testate)
- Consents of all interested persons or set for hearing if no will is available
- Acceptance of Appointment (PC 571) and Bond of Fiduciary (PC 570) if required by the Will
If there is a Will or Codicil involved, the original must be filed with the Probate Court. If there are issues which require the Judge’s ruling or order, you may file a Petition for Supervised Administration after Previous Adjudication (PC 560), along with a $20.00 filing fee to convert the estate to a Supervised Estate.
There are numerous documents which are required to be filed within the Court file in an Informal Estate. These documents are:
$175.00 filing fee payable to: Livingston Co. Probate Court
- Application for Informal Probate and/or Appointment of Personal Representative (PC 558).
- Testimony, Interested Persons (PC 565).
- Acceptance of Appointment (PC 571).
- Original Will and/or Codicil (if testate).
- Proof of Service (PC 564) for Notice of Appointment and Duties of Personal Representative (PC 573).
- Proof of Service (PC 564) for Notice Regarding Attorney Fees (PC 576) (if an attorney is assisting in probating the estate).
- Inventory (PC 577) (the original does not have to be filed, but it must be reviewed by the Probate Register to determine any inventory fee required).
- Affidavit of Publication.
- Sworn Statement to Close Unsupervised Administration (PC 591).
Notice re Inventory Fees as of 3-28-2013
The Notice to Creditors form (PC 574
) must be completed and mailed to the local newspaper, along with the required publication fee. The Personal Representative shall publish notice in a local newspaper notifying creditors of the estate to present their claims within 4 months after the date of publication of the notice or be forever barred. The earliest an estate can be closed is 5 months from the date of commencement, provided the claims period of 4 months has elapsed.
There may be other documents which may be required to be done depending on the nature of the assets or matters which need to be administered in each individual estate. The Court has other estate forms
which may be helpful in assisting the administration of the estate.