What is a will, and 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. After the death of the person, the custodian of the will must deposit the will with the Clerk of the Circuit Court, within 10 days after receiving information that the person is deceased. The custodian should supply the person’s date of death or the person’s social security number to the Clerk upon deposit of the will if this information is available.

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1. What is probate?
2. What is a will, and when and where should it be filed?
3. Do you need an attorney to deposit a will?
4. Are there different types of proceedings that can be filed depending on the size of the estate?
5. What happens if a person dies and has left no will?
6. What happens if there is a will filed but no personal representative has been named?
7. How are probate proceedings initiated?
8. What type of paperwork must accompany the form for filing a disposition of personal property without administration?
9. What happens after this information is filed with the Clerk?