What Documents Does a Personal Representative Need to Start Probate?

The following are documents the personal representative needs in order to start probating the estate. This list is not all inclusive, and may or may not include what is needed according to your state laws. Be sure to consult with a qualified probate lawyer to find out what is needed for the personal representative to administer the estate in your state.

•The original will, codicils, trusts and amendments;
•At least two death certificates without the cause of death;
•Copies of bank statements for the month of death;
•Copies of brokerage statements for the month of death, including any certificates of deposits;
•Copies of any stock or bond certificates that the decedent may have held outside the brokerage account;
•Copies of any general or limited partnership certificates or agreements;
•Copies of mutual fund accounts;
•Copies of deeds to real property, wherever situate;
•Copies of mortgages, mortgage notes and related amortization schedules;
•Copies of IRA, Keogh, pension and/or annuity plans and related account information;
•Life insurance policies;
•Copies of forms 1040s for the last two years of the decedent's life;
•Copies of Florida Intangible Tax Returns for the last two years of the decedent's life;
•Copies of any gift tax returns (Forms 709) which have been filed, if any;
•Copies of any state income tax returns that may have been required to file for the last two years of the decedent's life;
•Copies of certificates of title for any automobiles owned;
•List of all personal property owned including the estimated value;
•List of collectibles valued in excess of $3,000 and any insurance riders;
•Safe deposit box number(s), location and inventory of same;
•Name, telephone number and address of decedent's accountant;
•List of all pending lawsuits whether plaintiff or defendant;
•Any other evidence of assets owned not otherwise noted above.

The information on this page is meant to provide a general overview of the law. The laws in your state and/or city may deviate significantly from those described here. If you have specific questions related to your situation you should speak with a local attorney.

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