Formal / Informal Probate

Probate, whether formal or informal, is the process of winding up the affairs of the person who has died (the decedent), and includes asking the court to appoint a personal representative (sometimes called an "executor") of the decedent's estate, and to determine if there is a valid will.

Probate is necessary to pass ownership of the decedent’s probate assets to the decedent’s beneficiaries, if the decedent did not have a will.  Probate is also necessary to complete the decedent’s financial affairs after his or her death, including ensuring that the decedent’s creditors are paid.

Formal / Informal Probate

Informal probate is for those estates where there is an original will, and the will is not being contested, nor are any of the heirs listed in the will being disputed.

Formal probate is when the requirements of informal probate are not satisfied and a Judge or Commissioner is needed to resolve any disputes.

Probate and Mental Health   Presiding Judge
Dean M. Fink

Keith B. Kaplan
Probate and Mental Health Administrator
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