Are there different types of probate?

Yes.  There are generally two overarching types of probate:

  • Probate of a will as a muniment of title-a shorter form of probate available only if there are no debts of the decedent.  Debts secured by real property are allowed.  Note that even though permissible, this type of probate might not be preferable in certain circumstances.  A thoughtful discussion with an attorney is essential.
  • Probate and estate administration-There are many variations of this type of probate.  The defining questions are generally:
    • Is there a will?
    • Will the administration be under the supervision of the court (called a dependent administration) or not (an independent administration)?  The terms of the will (whether an independent executor is appointed under it), in some cases the agreement of the beneficiaries or heirs (if there is no will or no appointment of an independent executor under the will), and in some cases the preference of the individual in charge of the estate (called a personal representative or executor) informs the type of administration selected.
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