Administration of the Estate When There Is a Will
Notice of the Petition to Probate the Will in Solemn Form must be given to all the heirs of the decedent. In Part 3 of Standard Form 5, the petitioner must fill in the names, ages, and addresses of the heirs of the decedent. It is important to note the difference between heirs and beneficiaries. The heirs are the closest living relatives of the decedent. The beneficiaries are those people who are given property in the will. If a person is a beneficiary but not an heir, that person does not have to be listed in Part 3 of Standard Form 5. There are certain rules regarding the notice that must be given to heirs. If you need help determining the heirs of the decedent, you may consult the Rules of Inheritance page of this website, which has a text version and flowchart for determination of heirs.
The filing fees for the petition to probate the will must be paid at the time the petition is filed with the Probate Court. The Probate Court accepts cash, money orders, or personal checks made payable to Probate Court. The fees vary from court to court.
Interrogatories to the Witness of the Will
If the will does not contain a self-proving affidavit, then the petitioner must file Standard Form 6 (Interrogatories to Witness to Will) at the time he or she files the petition to probate the will. The answers to the interrogatories to the will must be filled out by a witness to the will, but the top portion may be completed by the witness, the petitioner, or the petitioner’s attorney. If the decedent is survived by a spouse and/or minor children, they may consider filing for year’s support.Some of the frequently asked questions about probating a will are answered on this website.