What do I need when I come to the office to open the estate?
  • Original will (and codicil(s), if applicable)---If the decedent had one. This office keeps the original documents.
  • Death certificate (In some instances, other legal proof of death may be accepted until the death certificate is available)
  • Person(s) who qualify as executor(s) or administrator(s). photo I.D. is required.
  • Approximate value of the decedent’s estate. This is the value, as of date of death, of the real estate and personal property of the decedent. You must determine what items constitute the decedent’s estate. The staff may not assist you with this valuation. We suggest you consider this before you come into the office and discuss this matter with a professional, if necessary.
  • Check, credit card, or cash for probate fees. This amount varies based on the value of the decedent’s estate as discussed in #4. See fee schedule.

Please be advised that this list is not all inclusive. There may be other forms or actions required that cannot be determined until the documents provided are reviewed by this office.

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1. Legal advice and information disclaimer
2. What are your office hours?
3. Can I request information by phone?
4. Can I request information by email?
5. How far back do your records go?
6. What records are available to the public?
7. Can anyone obtain records from your office?
8. What services does the Register of Wills provide?
9. Are wills public record?
10. What does it mean to register a will?
11. Does a will get registered or filed after it is written?
12. Why is a will registered or probated?
13. What is probate?
14. What do the terms intestate and testate mean?
15. The decedent died without a will. What do I do?
16. What do the words "Open an Estate" mean?
17. Is there a time limit or requirement to open an estate?
18. What is a short certificate?
19. Why do you keep the original will?
20. I cannot find the original will. I only have a copy. What can I do?
21. What are Letters Testamentary and Letters of Administration?
22. Do I need an attorney to apply for Letters Testamentary or Letters of Administration?
23. Who can be appointed administrator?
24. What do I need when I come to the office to open the estate?
25. Does your office assist in the preparation of the inheritance tax return?