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Petition for Letters of Administration

The most common procedure when there is not a Will is a Petition for Letters of Administration.  One of the heirs needs to be nominated by the majority of the other heirs.  If everyone consents, everyone is of legal age, no one is mentally incapacitated, and everyone signs the petition, it can go quickly and easily.  If the heirs must be served by the Court, it will add to the time and trouble.

 
Unless all heirs are adults and consent, the Administrator will be required to be bonded for the full value of the decedent's personal property with a minimum bond of $10,000.00 and must file inventories and annual returns.  If the petitioner is asking to be relieved of bond and reports and granted special powers, notice of the petition must be published in the Henry Daily Herald, the County's legal organ for 4 weeks, as required by law.
 
All heirs must be duly served or acknowledge service.  The Court will appoint a guardian ad litem for any minor or incapacitated adult heirs.

Petition for Temporary Letters of Administration

This petition is usually filed when another petition is pending before the Court.  Notice to the heirs is not required, but a majority of the heirs may select the temporary administrator.  Powers are limited to collecting and preserving the assets of the decedent, and the Court may appoint a temporary administrator upon any showing of necessity or appropriateness.

 
No expenditures or disbursements may be made without a special court order.  Temporary administrators must be bonded for the full value of the decedent's personal property with a minimum bond of $10,000.00 and are required to file inventories and annual returns.

Petition for Order Declaring No Administration Necessary

No Administration Necessary is a means of letting the heirs handle the estate without the Court requiring accounting, reporting, bonding, etc.  it is a petition stating that the decedent died without a Will, all of the decedent's debts have been paid or all creditors will be served or consented, all of the heirs are in agreement as to the distribution of the estate, and that it is not necessary for a formal administration or the Court to be involved.  There must be a petition filed and an order received before any authority exists.

 
This petition can only be filed by an heir of the estate, if ALL of the heirs are adults and are not mentally incapacitated, and ALL of the heirs sign the agreement.
 
Notice of the petition must be published in the Henry Daily Herald, the County's legal organ for 4 weeks, as required by law.

Petition for Year's Support

A year's support is a means for the property to pass directly to the surviving spouse or minor child of the deceased.  One of the benefits of a year's support is the elimination of certain taxes for property transferred (automobiles, farm equipment, boats, trailers, motor homes, and real estate).  The year's support process is more complicated and may require an attorney to assist in the filing.

 
This petition must be filed within 24 months after the decedent's death and can only be filed by the decedent's spouse who has not remarried since the decedent's death or on behalf of the minor children of the decedent.
 
All heirs and creditors of the estate must be duly served or acknowledge service.  The Court will appoint a guardian ad litem for any minor or incapacitated adult heirs.
 
Notice of the petition must be published in the Henry Daily Herald, the County's legal organ for 4 weeks, as required by law.

Petition to Enter and Examine Safe Deposit Box

This petition is usually filed when the Will is thought to be in a safe deposit box.  It permits the bank to open and examine the contents of the box in the presence of the petitioner.  If a Will is found, the bank must deliver it directly to the Probate Court.  Insurance policies may be delivered directly to the named beneficiaries.  The petitioner may receive only burial instructions and any deed to a burial plot.  Other property must remain in the box until an Executor or Administrator is appointed.