Probate Self-guided

DIY probate tools that put you in control.

Steer yourself through the probate process with this affordable, step-by-step roadmap from the most trusted name in online estate planning and settlement.

Handle probate on your terms.

Work is important, but so is everything else. We want you to have time to do all the things that make you, you.

A smoother probate process

Avoid surprises with our easy-to-use instructions that help you understand what you need to do at every step of the probate process.

Help getting the details right

Get county-specific templates that make preparing your own probate documents the way the court needs them easier — even if you’ve never done it before.

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Get back to what matters most

Finding your way through the long, complicated probate process takes up a lot of mental and emotional space. Our goal is to give you tools that make managing this process easier so you can return to what really matters in your life.

How Self-guided Probate works

Guide yourself through probate with confidence.

Figuring out probate can be overwhelming and time-consuming. We make navigating probate easier by breaking it into distinct phases — providing clear instructions to guide you through what you need to do.

  • 1

    Open your probate case

    To begin probate, you must prove you’re the right person to settle the estate. We’ll provide you instructions and county-specific documents to present your petition to the court.

  • 2

    Inventory the estate and make a plan

    Uncover all assets and liabilities owned by this estate and we’ll provide you instructions to create a plan for distribution. Present your plan to the court for approval.

  • 3

    Sort and distribute the estate

    Once approved, execute your plan. This might include things like selling property, closing accounts, or distributing money to heirs.

  • 4

    Present evidence to close the estate

    Follow our checklists to submit the appropriate documentation to the court proving you executed the plan accordingly. The estate is now closed and you can take a deep sigh of relief.

Need help figuring out probate?

Schedule a free, 30-minute consultation with a probate expert. They can help you figure out:

  • Whether or not you need probate

  • Which probate service best fits your needs

  • How much the probate services you're considering cost

Book your consultation

Self-guided Probate


Payment plans available

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Take control of probate with this set of instructional guides for creating and organizing everything you need to manage probate on your own. This affordable DIY option sets you up to manage probate at your own pace so you can start — and finish — probate with confidence.

What you'll get

  • Easy-to-follow, county-specific instructions

  • Fully completed probate forms

  • Phone consultation with a probate expert

  • Unlimited chat and technical support

Prices exclude state/county specific fees

  • Announcement for your local paper: $25-300

  • Court filing fee: $300-500

Start Probate

30-day satisfaction guarantee
We stand behind our products and services. If you’re not completely satisfied with your purchase, please contact us within thirty days to request a refund. Learn more

Want more hands-on probate support?

Get one-on-one help from a dedicated probate specialist with Concierge.

Learn about Concierge

Probate support from the most trusted name in online estate planning and settlement.

We’re proud to be a category leader in estate planning and settlement on Trustpilot. Don’t take our word for it, check out what our members have to say.

“I felt empowered by their knowledge and organization of all the forms I needed. The explanation of what had to be done was so easy to follow. I couldn’t believe that it was over within a matter of weeks– everything was taken care of.”

Verda Wells
Probate member, 2018

"After doing some research online, we reached out and got an immediate response. Here I am, I don’t have any legal experience, but I was able to do it with the help of Trust & Will in not much time. Our experience with them was professional, easy to work with, and sympathetic to the needs that we had and what we were going through emotionally."

Michelle Riccordella
Probate member, 2018

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Commonly asked questions

Can I probate a Will without a lawyer?
Yes, you can probate a Will without a lawyer. Working with an estate planning or probate attorney during the probate process is not required by law. For the majority of cases, personal representatives probate a Will without formal legal assistance. While you may not plan to work with a lawyer initially, you can always change your mind and elect to do so if you find that the probate process is too complicated or stressful. In some cases, the probate process will be straightforward and easy. In other cases, not so much. This truly depends on a case-by-case basis based on a variety of factors. Between taking a do-it-yourself approach or working with a lawyer is completely up to you and your level of comfort.
Is probate difficult to do yourself?
Conducting the probate process on your own can be relatively easy and straightforward, as long as you educate yourself on the process and take advantage of tools or resources that are available. For instance, Trust & Will’s Self-guided Probate was created to help members navigate the probate process as easily as possible. We also provide our Learn Center, an extensive library full of educational and self-help articles. However, there may be occasions when the probate process turns out to be more complicated than planned, and to no fault of your own. If this happens, don’t worry! You can always lean on professional assistance when you need it. You’ll have options to upgrade to our Concierge or Attorney plans.
When is probate required?
Probate isn’t always required. There are two steps to finding out if probate is necessary or unnecessary. The first step is to take inventory of the deceased person’s assets and property and determine if there are any probate assets. If there are any probate assets, then probate may be required. In some cases, however, the decedent may have named beneficiaries whenever possible and transferred all remaining property into a Trust with the objective of avoiding probate.

The second step is to obtain an estimate of the total estate’s value. In some states, probate is not required if the total estate value is under a certain threshold. For instance, estates valued $184,500 or less in California do not need to be probated. Estates exceeding the threshold value must pass through probate. Learn more about the difference between probate vs. non probate assets here.
How long does estate settlement take to complete?
There is no hard and fast rule that determines how long it takes to settle an estate. In some cases, it could take a matter of weeks, while in others it could take several months to a year. There are a variety of factors that determine how slowly or quickly an estate is settled. The first is the efficiency of both the court system and the personal representative who is charged with opening, managing, distributing, and closing the estate. The second is the size and complexity of the estate. As you might imagine, a large estate with a variety of complicated assets could take longer to sort out. Last but not least, variables such as taxes or conflict amongst heirs could drag out the process.
How much does an estate have to be worth to go to probate?
Probate fees are determined on a state by state basis. Each state determines how much an estate must be worth in order to require the full probate process. For instance, the California estate value threshold as of April 1, 2022 is $184,500. Any estate valued over this amount must go through probate. Estates valued at or less than this amount qualify for a simplified probate process, also known as summary probate. Again, this threshold varies from state to state. Be sure to find out the probate requirements in the state in which the decedent resided to determine whether their estate must go through probate. (In California, the simplified probate process is called the small estate affidavit.


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