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Probate / Guardianship Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions (Click to sort)
How do I find your office in the Courthouse?

The Circuit Civil Division is on the 2nd floor we are the last office on the left at the base of the
stairs leading up to the 3rd floor.

What is a will? When and where should it be filed?

A will is a document executed by a person that disposes of his/her property after his/her death.
It generally names a personal representative to administer the estate.

Do I need an attorney to deposit a will?

No, an attorney is not necessary to deposit the will with the Clerk of the Circuit Court. However,
you may want to consult with an attorney before filing so that he or she may determine whether
Probate proceedings will be necessary.

What is Probate?

Probate is a legal process through which the assets of a deceased person are properly
distributed to the heirs or beneficiaries. The Court oversees the estate to make sure debts are
paid and proper distribution is made.

How are Probate proceedings initiated?

Probate proceedings are initiated with the filing of a Petition by an interested person asking to
be appointed personal representative and/or distribute property depending on size and
complexity of property. The Petition is normally prepared by an attorney. The appointed person
will be responsible for the estate until all bills are paid and the balance of the estate is
distributed to the rightful beneficiaries.

What are the filing fees for Probate court?

Click here.

How do I access Probate records?

Probate records are not available online at this time.

What steps can I take if I know an individual that is incapable of caring for themselves and needs a guardian?

The first step is to contact an Attorney. The Clerk's Office may not give legal advice or guidance in
completing the various guardianship forms and reports that are required. If you are able and
qualified to serve as guardian, you may petition to be appointed guardian, through an Attorney.
If you do not wish to be appointed guardian, it is possible that a professional guardian may be

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