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Depending on your state and the size of her estate, you may be able to file for a small estate probate using an affidavit of assets, which is generally less costly and quicker than a full probate. You will most likely need the assistance of an estate attorney to make sure you do this correctly.

I sure hope the estate is not in Erie County New York.
My mother's will was drawn up for her by an attorney in the estates and trusts department of a large law firm. Her attorney was named as executor.

It had to go to probate because one of the beneficiaries was her church. The probate court judge was corrupt and said the will was invalid because the witnesses were not present when my mother signed the will. The executor said (and the witnesses signed affidavits) that the witnesses were present when my mother signed, and the notary public who notarized the will also testified that they were all present when the will was signed.

The judge refused that and appointed the daughter of a friend of hers to be administrator of the will, and awarded her $30,000 from my mother's estate for her services. However an administrator has no discretionary power at all: she must divide it equally among the living descendants (my two sisters and I). It surely did not require $30,000 to do that.

That meant the church would get nothing (the will said the estate was to be divided into four equal parts, with the church getting one of the parts).

It was pretty funny what happened, though it took several years to straighten out. Elliot Spitzer, attorney general of New York State at the time was the attorney representing the church (the a.g. is that for all charities in NY State) and he said the will was valid in his opinion. But he cannot normally overrule a judge (separation of powers).

We straightened it out by getting my mom's executor to be named administrator instead of the judge's friend's daughter. We then agreed with Spitzer to each donate 1/4 of our inheritances to the church, and that was done.

What I do not know is what happened to the judge, because my mother's estate was not the only one where she did that monkey-business. I hope the judge was impeached.
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