Estate Administration in Delaware

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Our Delaware lawyers advise and assist estate administrators with handling decedents’ estates in all three counties of Delaware – New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County.
If your family member died and at the time of his or her death resided in the State of Delaware, then the decedent’s estate will be administered in the county of residence. An estate in Delaware is administered through the county Register of Wills.
If your family member did have a will, then distribution of assets will be governed by the terms of the will and other Delaware law (for example, a surviving spouse may have an Elective Share under Title 12 Del.C. Chapter 9 regardless of the will’s lack of provision). If your family member did not have a will, then the State of Delaware intestacy laws will govern distribution of the estate.
Estate Administration in Delaware
The size of the estate will govern whether it must go through probate. A larger estate will need to be probated. A smaller estate (one containing $30,000 or less in value) may be capable of administration via a “Small Estate Affidavit”. Formal probate for larger estates may involve:

  • opening an estate with the Register of Wills in the appropriate county,
  • filing the original will if one exists,
  • receiving letters of administration or letters testamentary,
  • giving notice of the opening of the estate,
  • inventorying the estate
  • collecting claims against the estate by the decedent’s creditors,
  • petitioning Chancery Court for a determination of the order in which creditors claims may be paid,
  • paying taxes and claims of creditors,
  • distributing the estate’s assets to the decedent’s heirs.

Our attorneys have experience guiding folks though the estate administration process with the Register of Wills in New Castle County, Kent County, and Sussex County, Delaware.
If you would like more information about the estate probate process in the First State, please contact us for a consultation with one of our Delaware estate administration attorneys.

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