Q: How do I obtain ‘simplified small estate’ probate status?
I’m named executor in my brother’s recent will. Need a probate letter confirming this before a bank will set up an ‘estate account’ to pay bills and receive refund checks in his name. His lawyer said probate filing is not needed since the will was recorded only a couple months ago. What do I need to file with probate court to get official executor status letter?
A: In order to officially serve as the executor (and therefore have the authority to open an estate account), you will need what's called the Letters Testamentary from the Court. In order to get that document, there are a number of hoops to jump through, including a Petition, Notice, Order Appointing an Executor, perhaps Bond, and a few affidavits. I would strongly encourage you to speak to an attorney, as there are a number of things to consider that may effect your options. The legal fees would likely be an obligation of the estate, not you as an individual. Good luck!
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