3. Answers to Common Questions Received
a. Does the Probate Office have an email address the public can use?
No. The concern is that customers will be inclined to submit or “file” forms via email, which they can not accept. In addition, given the limited probate staff, it would take time away from serving customers who call or have appointments.
b. What can folks expect to happen at their probate appointment?
If all required information is provided, the estate proceeding will be established in their records and, if applicable, the certificates of qualification will be issued. Copies of all prepared/filed forms can be provided to the personal representative who has qualified upon request.
c. Do I need an original death certificate, or will a copy due?
An original Death Certificate is required. If it is a Testate Estate [there is a Last Will and Testament], then the original Will must be provided.
d. What is the most common reason(s) folks cannot be appointed or cannot finish their qualification at their appointment?
It varies, from not having sufficient information/documentation, not qualifying for a secured [surety] bond when required, or concern on behalf of the customer seeking to be qualified regarding all the fiduciary duties they will be assuming.
e. Do you have a list of bondsman you refer folks to when a surety bond is required?
They refer customers to Grimes Insurance Agency and Julian T. Burke & Co.
f. Are there any checklists or forms that could or should be completed before calling the Probate Office, or before showing up for
scheduled appointment to qualify?
They prepare all forms based on the information that is provided by the customer. When asked, they advise that the customer may prepare forms if they wish to do so. However, sometimes those prepared forms cannot be used because the forms are not completed properly.