Is it mandatory to file with the probate court if the person who died leaves a Will with an executor named?

UPDATED: May 23, 2012

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Is it mandatory to file with the probate court if the person who died leaves a Will with an executor named?

My grandfather passed away with a Will naming Jane, one daughter, as the executor. He had a joint checking account with my mother, which totals about $15000 as he had been paying cash to live in a nursing home. Does Jane need to file with probate court to be appointed executor? She lives out of state. She is demanding my mother close the checking account and mail her a check out of state, but my mother thinks she should wait for the court to recognize Jane first. What if Jane does not file in 30 days? Is it a deadline, or just a recommended time frame?

Asked on May 23, 2012 under Estate Planning, New Hampshire


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  You are correct: a person is not appointed as the executor unless and until the Will is probated. The issue as to the 30 days depends on state case law and is best asked to an attorney in your area.  But if she is an out of state executor there may be additional requirements here.  Now, I think Mom should speak with some one as well about the account with the money.  If it is a joint account then it passes automatically upon death from one owner to the other.  Good luck.  

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