You found the will now what?

A common misconception I find with my clients and the general public is that a will by it self gives the people named in the will property. It does not; you have to get the will admitted to probate before it becomes effective.

Fortunately, getting a will admitted to probate in most cases is relatively easy and straightforward. It starts by first finding the original will. With only very narrow exceptions you must produce the original will to get the will probated. Then, you will need to select the type of probate you want. Selecting the correct type of probate will be discussed at length in other post. Once you fond the original will and selected the correct type of probate, you have to filed the original will and an application to admit the will to probate with the clerk of the court.

After you filed the original will and application with the clerk, you will have a court date set at least 10 days out for the court to hear your application. At the hearing someone will testify to the facts needed to admit the will to probate. The particular facts will depend on your situation, but in all cases someone will have to testify to the judge that the person is (1) deceased, (2) the will offered for probate was the deceased person’s will, and (3) to the best of their knowledge the person never revoked the will.

In the overwhelming majority of cases the court hearing is quick and uneventful. They normally last about 1-2 minutes and go off without a hitch. This post only deals with uncontested probate I’ll go into detail about contested probate in later post. If you have any questions email me at chris@jguerralawfirm.com.

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