Informal vs. Formal Probate of a Will

When a person dies and leaves a Will, a legal proceeding called “Probate” is required to transfer ownership from the person who died (Decedent) to the people named in the Will (Devisees).  There are two main proceedings for Probate of a will.  Below are a few differences.

Informal vs. Formal Probate of a Will

  1. FORMAL Probate is litigation; Informal Probate is an administrative proceeding.  If there is any dispute or contest regarding the will or the appointment of a personal representative in Informal Probate, then the case becomes Formal Probate.
  2. Informal Probate requires an original copy of the Will.  Formal Probate of a will can proceed when the original copy of the Will cannot be found, if there is sufficient evidence regarding the contents of the Will and whether the Decedent (the person who died) revoked the Will.
  3. Informal Probate starts with an “APPLICATION” where Formal Probate starts with a “PETITION”.
  4. Informal Probate is directed to the Probate Registrar and does not require a hearing; Formal Probate is directed to the COURT and requires a hearing and a request for a court order.

Both Formal and Informal Probate have many rules and procedures which require a personal representative to give notice in specific ways and at specific times.  In some cases there is significant work for the Personal Representative to do even with the help of an experienced Probate Attorney.

To meet with an experienced probate attorney and begin probate proceedings call The Carroll Law Firm at (623)551-9366.


2 Comments to “Informal vs. Formal Probate of a Will”

  1. Do you have articles that suggest how to bring up the topic of making a will to your elderly loved ones?

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