What Documents Do You Need for Probate?

What Documents Do You Need for Probate?

Probate is the legal way to handle someone’s belongings (their “estate”) after they pass away. It makes sure things are divided up according to their wishes (in a will) or following the law (if there’s no will). While the exact steps can differ depending on how much stuff they had, there are some key documents everyone needs.

Must-Have Documents for Probate:

  • Death Certificate: This official paper proves the person has passed away. You can usually get copies from the funeral home or your government’s office of records.
  • Last Will and Testament (and Updates): If the person had a will, you’ll need the original document and any changes (called codicils) they made to it. Make sure the will is valid and hasn’t been replaced by a newer one.
  • Copies of the Will: Besides the original, you’ll usually need two extra copies for the probate office.
  • Probate Application Form: This form (available online or from the probate office) officially starts the probate process. It has details about the person who passed away, their stuff, and the person in charge of handling it (the executor).
  • Inheritance Tax Form: Depending on the value of the estate, you might need to fill out a form to see if any inheritance tax needs to be paid before things are divided up.

Other Documents You Might Need:


  • Life Insurance Policies: If the person had life insurance, you’ll need information about the beneficiaries and the policies themselves to claim any payouts.
  • Property Deeds: Papers showing they owned any land or buildings are important.
  • Bank Statements and Stuff: Documents from banks, investments, and other financial accounts help figure out the value of everything they owned.
  • Loan Papers: Proof of any debts they owed (like mortgages or loans) is needed to settle things properly.

The Bottom Line

This list gives you a general idea, but the exact documents needed can change depending on the situation. Talking to a lawyer who specializes in probate is a smart move. They can guide you through the process, make sure you have everything you need, and deal with any legal issues that come up.


By understanding the key documents and getting legal help, you can approach probate with more confidence and get through it more easily.


Contact us about your probate matter 02071830084 or email probate@olaleslie.com