Probate Shortcuts in Vermont

Save time and money when you wrap up an estate in Vermont.

Vermont offers a probate shortcut for "small" estates. This makes it easier for survivors to transfer property left by a person who has died. You may be able to transfer a large amount of property using the following probate shortcut -- saving time, money, and hassle.

Simplified Probate Procedures

Vermont has a simplified probate process for small estates. To use it, an executor files a written request with the local probate court asking to use the simplified procedure. The court may authorize the executor to distribute the assets without having to jump through the hoops of regular probate.

You can use the simplified small estate process in Vermont if the deceased person is survived by a spouse or children (or a parent if there is no spouse or child) and owned no real estate other than a timeshare, and the value of the personal property is $10,000 or less. Vt. Stat. Ann., tit. 14, § 1902.

When filing the request, you can (but aren't required to) attach the will, an inventory of the estate, and a receipt showing that funeral expenses have been paid (or proof that you have secured a bond for the payment of funeral expenses). Vt. Stat. Ann., tit. 14, § 1901.

To close the estate, you must give the probate court proof that you've paid funeral and burial expenses and distributed the property according to the will’s instructions (or state law if there is no will). The executor doesn’t have to give any further notice or accounting. Vt. Stat. Ann., tit. 14, § 1903.

For More Information

For help determining if an estate qualifies for this probate shortcut, or handling an estate in general, see The Executor’s Guide, by Mary Randolph (Nolo) or Estate Planning Basics, by Denis Clifford (Nolo).


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