Elder Law - Formal Probate

Formal Probate is used to have a court determine if the decedent left a valid Will and is also used to determine the heirs in cases where there is no Will.

Cases with no Will are called "Intestate" cases. As opposed to Informal Probate of a Will, Formal Probate requires the Court to conduct a hearing. First, a Signing Document"Petition" is filed with the Court along with the original Will or a facsimile of the Will. Upon filing the Petition, the Probate Court Clerk will mail a Notice of Hearing to all those persons named in the Will. After the hearing, if there are no objections, the Clerk will issue Letters of Personal Representative. "Letters" is the term of art used to designate the official appointment of a person under the Probate Code. This may be a Personal Representative for the administration of a decedent's estate or it may be a Conservator for the administration of the estate of a protected person. It may also be a Guardian for an incapacitated person.

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