Jack comes home from a long day of work. He just spent 20 minutes stuck on the R train due to signal problems. Jack checks the mail and finds a letter from his sister, Emma. Emma is probating their mother’s Last Will and Testament. Emma sent Jack a document called a “Waiver of Process; Consent to Probate” along with a letter. The letter says that Jack either signs the document or go to Court.
Jack stares at the document for a few minutes. He is very confused. What is this document? Should he sign the “Waiver of Process and Consent to Probate”? Or should he go to Court?
What is a Waiver of Process; Consent to Probate?
A Waiver of Process; Consent to Probate is a form that gets sent out to the distributees, or, necessary parties, to a Probate proceeding.
What is the Purpose of a Waiver of Process; Consent to Probate?
The purpose of the form is twofold.
- The first purpose is to help the Court acquire jurisdiction over all of the parties. By signing the form, Jack is advising the Court that he submits to the Court’s jurisdiction. Put another way, he is allowing the Court to make decisions that will affect Jack. In this case, where there is a Will, Jack is consenting to the Court reviewing the Will. Jack is advising the Court that he is consenting to the Will being admitted to Probate.
- The second purpose of the form is to advise the Court that Jack is consenting to Emma being made Executor.
How do you Determine Whether to Sign the Waiver?
The main questions that you should ask yourself before signing this form are:
- Am I objecting to the admission of the Will to probate? If the answer is yes, do not sign the form.
- Am I objecting to the person seeking to become the Executor/Administrator. If the answer is yes, do not sign the form.
- Do I want to be the Administrator (in cases where there is no Will)? If the answer is yes and if you are eligible to serve, then do not sign the form. For more information on whether you are eligible to serve, click here.
What do you do After you sign the Waiver?
If Jack signs the Form, then there is nothing more for him to do. He does not have to appear in Court. Note that by signing the form, Jack has not waived his inheritance. He is simply allowing Emma to continue probating the Will.
What if you DON’T sign the Waiver?
If Jack does not sign the Form, then the Court will need to issue a Citation. A Citation also serves two purposes. The first purpose is to acquire jurisdiction over Jack. The second purpose is for the Court to provide a date and time for Jack to appear and advise the Court of any issues that Jack has about the process.
Additional resources provided by the author
For more information, please contact, probate, guardianship, and estate planning attorney Regina Kiperman:
Or visit her at her new location:
80 Maiden Lane
New York, NY 10038
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