Request To Start Informal Probate And Appoint A Personal Representative

Losing a loved one is a challenging and an emotional experience. 

Along with the grieving process, legal matters need to be addressed, particularly when distributing the deceased’s assets. 

If your loved one had a last will, you may need to initiate the probate process.

This often involves a formal request to start informal probate and appoint a personal representative

This guide will explore what this process entails, its essential, and the steps you should take.

Understanding Probate And The Need For A Personal Representative

Probate is the legal process.

Through this, a deceased person’s assets are managed.

If the deceased had a will, the probate ensures that the instructions in the will are followed correctly. 

However, even if there is no will, probate is necessary to determine how the assets will be distributed following the state’s laws.

A personal representative, often called an executor or administrator, is the individual responsible for overseeing the probate process.

Their duties include gathering and managing the deceased person’s assets and distributing the remaining property to beneficiaries.

Starting The Informal Probate Process

Informal probate is a simplified and less formal version of the probate process suitable for many estates.

To initiate this process, a request is made to the court to appoint a personal representative.

It helps to know the request to start informal probate and appoint a personal representative

Below are the steps you should follow to start the informal probate process:

Obtain The Death Certificate: 

Before beginning the probate process, you’ll need a copy of the deceased person’s death certificate

This document is crucial as it officially confirms the individual’s passing.

Review The Will: 

If the deceased had a will, review it to determine who the nominated personal representative is. 

This person may have been designated by the deceased, or they may need to be appointed by the court.

Identify Interested Parties: 

Interested parties are individuals or entities with a legal stake in the estate. 

This includes beneficiaries, heirs, and creditors.

Notify these parties about your intent to initiate probate.

Petition For Informal Probate: 

Draft a petition for an informal probate and appointment of a personal representative

This document should include details such as the deceased’s name, date of death, and a statement.

This will be regarding the will’s validity and the name of the proposed personal representative. 

Sometimes, you may need to include a consent form signed by the nominated personal representative.

File The Petition: 

Submit the petition to the probate court in the county.

This is where the deceased person resided at the time of their death. 

Filing fees may apply, and it’s essential to ensure the document is complete and accurate.

Notice To Interested Parties: 

After filing the petition, provide notice to all interested parties. 

This involves sending a copy of the petition and notice of hearing to all beneficiaries, heirs, and known creditors.

Attend The Hearing: 

The court will schedule a hearing.

This is to consider the petition

At the hearing, the judge will review the documents and hear any objections or concerns from interested parties.

If there are no issues, the judge will approve the appointment of the personal representative.

Issuance Of Letters: 

If the court approves the appointment, the personal representative will receive “letters of appointment.”

It grants them legal authority to act on behalf of the estate.

Example: Request To Start Informal Probate And Appoint A Personal Representative For John Smith’s Estate

Background Scenario:

John Smith, a resident of New York, passed away on August 15, 2023, leaving behind a sizable estate, including real estate, financial assets, and personal property. He did not leave a will, and his surviving family members include his spouse, Mary Smith, and their two adult children, Sarah and James. Mary Smith has decided to initiate the probate process and request the appointment of a personal representative to oversee the administration of John’s estate.

[Your Name]

[Your Address]

[City, State, ZIP Code]

[Email Address]

[Phone Number]



[Name of the Probate Court]

[Address of the Probate Court]

[City, State, ZIP Code]

Re: Request to start informal probate and appoint a personal representative for John Smith’s Estate

Dear Honorable [Judge’s Last Name],

I am writing to formally request the initiation of informal probate proceedings for the estate of John Smith, who passed away on August 15, 2023. We seek to appoint a personal representative to administer the estate’s affairs and ensure that all creditors, beneficiaries, and legal requirements are appropriately addressed.

Background Information:

The decedent, John Smith, was a resident of [City], [State], at the time of his passing.

He is survived by his spouse, Mary Smith, and their two adult children, Sarah Smith and James Smith.

There is no valid will in place, and as such, the estate must be probated in accordance with the laws of intestacy.

The assets of the estate include real property, financial assets, personal property, and other assets, the complete inventory of which will be provided to the court as part of the probate process.

We believe that Mary Smith, the surviving spouse, is a suitable candidate to serve as the personal representative for the estate. She is willing and able to take on this responsibility, having a clear understanding of the family’s financial affairs.

Requested Actions:

Initiate informal probate proceedings to address the administration of John Smith’s estate.

Appoint Mary Smith as the personal representative for the estate. She is willing to accept the responsibility and is fully aware of the duties and obligations associated with this role.

Grant Mary Smith the necessary authority to manage and distribute the estate’s assets in accordance with applicable laws and regulations.

We kindly request that a hearing date be scheduled for the formal appointment of Mary Smith as the personal representative. We will provide all necessary documentation and information promptly to facilitate the probate process.

Please feel free to contact me should you require any further details or documentation.


[Your Signature]

[Your Name]

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