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Informal Probate


When a person dies, someone needs to deal with the deceased person’s estate. For example, the deceased person’s taxes and bills need to paid, their creditors and other entities notified, and their property needs to be inventoried and distributed to others based on the deceased person’s will, or if there isn’t a will, according to North Dakota law.

Probate is the court-supervised process of dealing with a deceased person’s estate. Probate is the only way to have a personal representative (executor) appointed to handle the deceased person’s estate.

North Dakota has adopted the Uniform Probate Code, which allows a person to informally probate a Will and have a personal representative appointed without the necessity of a court appearance or a court hearing, as long as the proper forms are filed and the correct procedures followed.

The informal probate process also allows a person to informally probate an estate when the individual passed away without a will.  This is called intestate succession and the heirs of the deceased individual are determined by North Dakota law.

In general, informal probate may be used when less than 3 years have passed from the date of death and the validity of the will isn't disputed.


The North Dakota Supreme Court has assembled a guidebook, Informal Administration of an Estate, and a series of forms that may be used with it. The forms are in the guidebook.

The forms and instructions can be printed out and handwritten, if desired. You can fill in the blanks of the forms listed below by typing in the requested information on your computer keyboard. Print out each form when you complete your work. The form will clear when you close it.

Forms aren't available for every situation that may occur in an informal probate proceeding.  If a form isn't in the “Informal Administration of an Estate” guidebook, the self-represented individual needs to either create the probate document themselves, or retain an attorney to do so.

Selected Statutes (Laws) & Rules

Other Resources

If you do not understand any of this information, or if you have trouble filling out any of the forms located here, please see an attorney for help.

The information provided on and obtained from this site does not constitute the official record of the Court. This information is provided as a service to the general public. Any user of this information is hereby advised that it is being provided "as is". The information provided may be subject to errors or omissions. Visitors to this site agree that the Court is not liable for errors or omissions of any of the information provided.

If you have a question relating to a case that is already filed please contact the clerk of court for the county.