How do I File a Probate Claim?

Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

The process you’ll have to complete to file a probate claim depends on the jurisdiction in which you have to file. In general, however, you will need to determine whether the deceased person’s estate has entered probate and then file a statement-of-claim form or a similar document with the court that is handling the probate process. In many jurisdictions, these claim forms may be mailed to the clerk of courts or delivered in person. Often, a claim can be filed without paying a fee, though this may differ in some places.

In some places, filing a probate claim requires notarization.
In some places, filing a probate claim requires notarization.

If you believe you have a claim against a deceased person’s estate, you may file a probate claim with the court that handles the probate process in the area. Generally, the probate process is handled in the jurisdiction in which the deceased party lived. As such, you may have to file a probate claim with a court in the deceased party’s jurisdiction, even if you live in a different area.

When someone dies, his estate must usually go through a legal process known as probate.
When someone dies, his estate must usually go through a legal process known as probate.

The first step in filing a probate claim is usually determining whether or not the probate process has begun. In many places, the probate process begins when the person who has been named the executor of the will, or a party who has been appointed by the court, is sworn in as the personal representative of the estate. The personal representative is usually required to file a death notice in a newspaper that is widely distributed in the jurisdiction. Once the probate process has begun, you can typically file your claim with the probate court.

Since laws and procedural rules vary from jurisdiction to jurisdiction, you may do well to contact the probate court to learn the process you will have to follow to file a claim. You may call the probate court to obtain information or visit in person. Many jurisdictions, however, also post information about the probate process online. Sometimes they even provide downloadable forms that can be printed for use in the probate procedure.

In most cases, you will need to complete a statement-of-claim form or a similar document to file a probate claim. You will typically have to complete this form by providing the name of the deceased party as well as your own name and contact information. You will likely have to provide information about the reason for your probate claim and the amount of money you feel you are owed. Finally, you will have to sign the form and submit it to the court clerk. In some places, you may be required to have the form notarized as well.

Many individuals contesting a will hire a seasoned estate or probate lawyer.
Many individuals contesting a will hire a seasoned estate or probate lawyer.
Nicole Madison
Nicole Madison

Nicole’s thirst for knowledge inspired her to become a wiseGEEK writer, and she focuses primarily on topics such as homeschooling, parenting, health, science, and business. When not writing or spending time with her four children, Nicole enjoys reading, camping, and going to the beach.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Login:
Forgot password?
Register: