The majority of probate is informal, meaning that all filing and settling happens outside of court. The quickest probates are informal, lasting a minimum of 4 months. In some situations, it may be necessary to engage in formal probate which would involve court hearings. Formal probate generally occurs when there is a dispute about the settling of the estate or when heirs need to be determined (and there is no valid will) or when minor children will inherit significant property. A free consultation with Wightman Legal could easily sort out which form of probate is right for your situation. The probate process can be long and confusing, Wightman Legal strives to make this process more affordable by offering free phone calls throughout the duration of the probate. Filing a probate with the court costs $360.00 which is in addition to my hourly fee.