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Timeline for formal probate
Appointing a personal representative when there is no will
In many cases, informal probate can be used to process a decedent’s estate. However, when a dispute arises, the courts typically intervene to resolve the issue at hand. When a will fails to name a personal representative and beneficiaries cannot agree on who should be named as one, a formal probate proceeding in the district court is needed.
A personal representative must then be chosen based on heirship:
- The decedent’s surviving spouse has first priority.
- If there is no surviving spouse, or the spouses refuses, the children of the decedent have equal priority.
- When no spouse or children exist, the decedent’s parents have priority.
- The decedent’s siblings have equal priority for appointment when no spouse, children, or parents exist.
- If none of the above listed people remain, a creditor or other interested person may also serve as Personal Representative.
If you are named personal representative of a loved one’s estate, we can guide you through the steps ahead. With nearly three decades of legal experience, we can quickly assess your case and help you make tough decisions with confidence.