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Intake Questionnaire: Initial Meeting with a Probate Lawyer

If you are a responsible family member of a deceased person who died with out a will or have been named as the “executor” or “personal representative” in a deceased person’s will, it is advisable that you seek the counsel of an experienced probate lawyer to help you through the probate process. In order to do the best possible job, your attorney needs information about the deceased, the deceased’s estate plan, and the deceased’s assets and liabilities. At your first meeting with your attorney, you should be prepared to provide, as applicable, the following information:


Your Name:__________________________________________________________

Mailing Address:______________________________________________________


Telephone Nos.:(Work) ______________________ (Home) __________________

(Mobile) _____________________

E-Mail Address:____________________________

Your Relation to the Deceased: _________________________


Name of Deceased:_____________________________________________________

Deceased’s Date of Birth: ____________________________

Deceased’s Social Security Number: ____________________________


Did the Deceased have an existing Will(s)?



(If yes, provide your attorney with a copy)

Did the Deceased have an existing Trust(s)?



(If yes, provide your attorney with a copy)


Was the Deceased married?



If yes, what is/was the name of the Deceased’s spouse?

Is the Deceased’s spouse still living?



If no, when and where did the deceased spouse die?______________________________

Deceased’s Children:

Indicate Whether Adopted

Name Date of Birth or from a Previous Marriage

__________________ _______________________________________

__________________ _______________________________________

__________________ _______________________________________

__________________ _______________________________________

Have any children received an advance on their inheritance or are any children financially indebted to the deceased?



Any deceased children?



If Yes, Name of Deceased Child: _________________________________

Did this deceased child leave any children?



Name of Deceased Child: _________________________________

Did this deceased child leave any children?



Deceased’s Grandchildren, if any:

Name Date of Birth Parents

__________________ _______________________________________

__________________ _______________________________________

__________________ _______________________________________

__________________ _______________________________________

Other Pertinent Family Information or Explanation of Above Items:





Does the will or any other communication from the Deceased indicate who should be Personal Representative (“executor”) of the Deceased’s estate? (The Personal Representative is responsible for probating the will, paying debts, collecting the assets, and settling the estate.)



If so, who? ____________________________________________________


Did the Deceased have a safe deposit box?



If so, where?_________________________________

Does anyone else have access to the box?____________________________________________


Did the Deceased have an attorney?



If Yes to the above, please give name and address:_____________________________________________

Did the Deceased have an accountant?



If Yes to the above, please give name and address:__________________________________________

Did the deceased have a financial planner, investment advisor or insurance agent?



If Yes to the above, please give name and address:_________________________________________


1. Estimated net worth of estate: $ ____________________

2. To the extent possible, collect information and documents regarding the Deceased’s accounts held at financial institutions:

3. To the extent possible, collect information and documents regarding the Deceased’s investments:

[ ] Cash or money fund accounts, or certificates of deposit with stockbroker firms.

[ ] Stocks, bonds, and mutual funds where the broker holds the certificates and sent the Deceased periodic statements showing the account balance.

[ ] Mutual funds where the Deceased dealt directly with the issuing company rather than through a stock broker.

[ ] Stocks and bonds (other than U.S. Savings Bonds) where the deceased held the certificates in your possession.

[ ] U.S. savings bonds.

[ ] Treasury bills or other government securities.

[ ] Limited partnerships.

[ ] Oil and gas royalty or working interests.

[ ] Oil and gas mineral rights in land.

[ ] Other securities [describe] _____________________________________


4. Retirement plans:

[ ] Individual retirement accounts (IRAs), Keogh, or other individual plans providing tax deferment for deposits and income.

[ ] Employer provided profit sharing, retirement, or other benefit plans:

5. Real estate:

[ ] Personal residence located in state of _______________________

[ ] Other property. How many different parcels of real estate did the Deceased own, other than his/her personal residence?_________

In what state(s) are these parcels located?_________________

Was the Deceased purchasing any of the above properties on a contract for deed? [ ] Yes [ ] No.

If Yes, provide details:_________________________________________


6. Complete this section if the deceased was engaged in business.

Did the Deceased own a business, or was he/she a partner in a business?

[ ] Yes [ ] No

If Yes, complete the following:

[ ] Business is organized as a corporation. How many corporations?_______

How many corporations are subchapter S corporations?_______

[ ] Business is organized as a partnership. How many partnerships?_______

[ ] Business is a sole proprietorship. How many different firms? _______

7. Receivables: If any money is owed to the Deceased, as payments on contracts, where the Deceased sold a business, as payments on obligations secured by real estate, or where the Deceased loaned money to someone and held a note, indicate each type of indebtedness:

[ ] Promissory note(s) secured by real estate. Amount(s) owed:_____________

[ ] Installment contract(s) of sale of personal property. Amount(s) owed:_____

[ ] Unsecured promissory note(s). Amount(s) owed:_____________

8. Life Insurance Policies: For life insurance policies insuring the Deceased, indicate the name of the insurance company, the face amount of the policy ,and the type of policy.

Insurance Company Face Amount Type of Policy

______________________ __________ ___________

______________________ __________ ___________

______________________ __________ ___________

______________________ __________ ___________

9. Annuities: Please indicate the name of the annuitant and the type of annuity. Do not list annuities under which no benefits are payable after the death of the annuitant.

Regular annuities payable for guaranteed minimum term or amount: __________________

Tax deferred annuities: ______________________

10. Personal property other than automobiles, trucks, boats, and trailers:

[ ] Household furniture and appliances

[ ] Collections, art, antiques, valuable jewelry

[ ] Automobiles

[ ] Boats

[ ] Recreational vehicles

[ ] Motor home

[ ] Business machinery and equipment

[ ] Personal equipment and tools

[ ] Farm or ranch machinery and equipment (other than general tools)

[ ] Livestock


(Make a list of known liabilities or debts of the deceased.)


(Make a list of pertinent questions to ask your attorney.)

Get Legal Help with the Probate Process

The probate process can feel overwhelming, especially if you're grieving the death of a loved one. Luckily, an attorney can help. Get in touch with a local probate and estate administration attorney to guide you through the probate process.

You Don’t Have To Solve This on Your Own – Get a Lawyer’s Help

Meeting with a lawyer can help you understand your options and how to best protect your rights. Visit our attorney directory to find a lawyer near you who can help.

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Next Steps

Contact a qualified estate planning attorney to help with the probate process.

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