There are many different ways to probate an Estate:
  • Testate – with an original Will
  • Intestate – without a Will
  • Ancillary – decedent was not a resident of West Virginia but owned real estate in Raleigh County
  • Small Estate Affidavit – A process that can allow you to skip or shorten certain aspects of probate (i.e., distribute property without a lengthy court process).  The Estate must have assets valued below a certain amount to be eligible for this process.  If there is a possibility that the real estate could be sold within 2 years, it is advisable to contact an attorney to determine whether or not you should proceed with a small estate.  Also noted: some banks/financial institutions will not accept a Small Estate Affidavit; they are requiring a full probate.  Please contact the Assessor’s office (304-255-9120) to confirm all real estate owned and value prior to coming to our office.
Before an Estate is started a death certificate or letter from a funeral home must be provided.  Letter from the funeral home must be on their letterhead and include the following: 
  • Decedent’s Date of Death
  • Decedent’s County of Residence
  • Decedent’s Social Security Number
Please note – there are fees for each step of the probate process that must be paid to our office either by cash, check, credit card, or money order payable to the Raleigh County Clerk.  Fees are determined at the time of appointment based on how the Estate is probated. 
Feel free to contact the probate office with any questions or concerns at 304-252-0161 or email