Monday, April 20, 2015


(a) In an informal proceeding for original probate of a will, the Registrar shall determine whether:
(1) the application is complete;
(2) the applicant has made oath or affirmation that the statements contained in the application are true to the best of his knowledge and belief;
(3) the applicant appears from the application to be an interested person as defined in Section 1-201(23);
(4) on the basis of the statements in the application, venue is proper;
(5) an original, duly executed and apparently unrevoked will is in the Registrar’s

(6) any notice required by Section 3-204 has been given and that the application is not within Section 3-304; and
(7) it appears from the application that the time limit for original probate has not
b) The application shall be denied if it indicates that a personal representative has been appointed in another [county] of this state or except as provided in subsection (d) below, if it appears that this or another will of the decedent has been the subject of a previous probate order.
(c) A will which appears to have the required signatures and which contains an attestation clause showing that requirements of execution under Section 2-502, 2-503 or 2-506 have been met shall be probated without further proof. In other cases, the Registrar may assume execution if the will appears to have been properly executed, or he may accept a sworn statement or affidavit of any person having knowledge of the circumstances of execution, whether or not the person was a witness to the will.
(d) Informal probate of a will which has been previously probated elsewhere may be granted at any time upon written application by any interested person, together with deposit of an authenticated copy of the will and of the statement probating it from the office or court where it was first probated.
(e) A will from a place which does not provide for probate of a will after death and which is not eligible for probate under subsection (a) above, may be probated in this state upon receipt by the Registrar of a duly authenticated copy of the will and a duly authenticated certificate of its legal custodian that the copy filed is a true copy and that the will has become operative under the law of the other place.
The purpose of this section is to permit informal probate of a will which, from a simple attestation clause, appears to have been executed properly. It is not necessary that the will be notarized as is the case with “pre-proved” wills in some states. If a will is “pre-proved” as provided in Article II, it will, of course, “appear” to be well executed and include the recital necessary for easy probate here. If the instrument does not contain a proper recital by attesting witnesses, it may be probated informally on the strength of an affidavit by a person who can say what occurred at the time of execution.

Except where probate or its equivalent has occurred previously in another state, informal probate is available only where an original will exists and is available to be filed. Lost or destroyed wills must be established in formal proceedings. See Section 3-402. Under Section 3- 401, pendency of formal testacy proceedings blocks informal probate or appointment proceedings. 

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