Probate in Wyoming

Everything you need to know about Wyoming probate, including helpful tips, deadlines, what forms to fill out, and where to submit them.
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Chances are you’ve got a lot going on at the moment.

When someone you love dies, it can feel like getting a new job. You have to organize all your loved one’s belongings, read so many forms and sign so many documents you feel like a lawyer, and make sure the pets have a place to stay — it’s a lot, to say the least.

So, just to be clear that this is what you need and you aren’t wasting your time, this article is about navigating the probate process in Wyoming, specifically.

If probate still confuses the heck out of you (which is completely understandable), then you should read our article about what probate is and whether or not you even need it.

It explains if you need a lawyer, how to know if you’re the personal representative or not, and demystifies the process so you can feel confident in your choices.

Because the last thing you want is to go through all of this trouble if you don’t even have to. Believe us.

The link to that blog is right here 👇

Read more: What is Probate, and Do I Even Need It?

On a broader note, probate is just part of the “estate settlement” process people spend an average of over 500 hours and $15,000 on during the first 18 months after someone dies.

That’s an enormous amount of time and responsibility, and having a step-by-step list you can just check off as you go along is a godsend.

That way you know exactly where to begin and when you can call it quits.

You can get that checklist along with an exact idea of everything you need to do when someone passes away right here.

Now that we have that settled, let’s get specific about probate in Wyoming.

What is Probate in Wyoming

Wyoming probate is the formal, court-supervised process of carrying out one's last wishes by validating their last will & testament (if any), resolving any outstanding debts or taxes, and distributing any remaining assets to rightful heirs.

Probate can be complicated, but it’s just the legal collecting of everything someone owns and officially giving it to the right people (and giving the government their cut, of course).

It begins with contacting the court and ends with all estate taxes paid, death certificates filed, and assets officially distributed to rightful heirs and surviving family members.

Probate exists to prevent families from jumping in like a bunch of sharks to claim whatever cars, bank accounts, and other assets a family member had, and to make sure things like a death certificate, funeral arrangements, and estate taxes are handled correctly.

And because probate is a legal process— the rules and procedures vary regionally based on local laws, applicable forms & other established practices.

Which is why we’ve put together this helpful resource as a comprehensive guide for anyone navigating probate in Wyoming.

What Probate in Wyoming looks like

Wyoming probate follows this general flow: contact the court, get appointed as personal representative, submit will if it exists, inventory and submit valuations of all relevant assets, have the court and beneficiaries approve it, and then distribute the assets to beneficiaries.

And as the executor or personal representative of an estate, you are also responsible for:

✔️ Filing a petition for probate to the probate court in the country of the deceased
✔️ Deciding if there are any probate assets
✔️ Managing and locating these assets
✔️ Valuing and appraising the estate’s assets
✔️ Receiving payments and paying taxes on behalf of the estate
✔️ Setting up an estate checking account and EIN
✔️ Interpreting the will
✔️ Communicating and working with heirs/beneficiaries
✔️ If there is no will, then distributing assets according to local law
✔️ Valuing and appraising the estate’s assets
✔️ Officially notifying creditors
✔️ Following all legal deadlines
✔️ Paying funeral bills
✔️ Filing estate tax returns
✔️ Submitting death certificate
✔️ Submitting distribution receipts and officially closing the estate

There are even more tiny steps in between, but that’s the gist.

Yes, probate can feel like a lot, but remember that the process is often spread out over a year and you're even entitled to be paid executor fees as a portion of the estate (the collective value of all qualifying assets).

And having to manage all of these little details is exactly why having tools that walk you through every single step and ensure you don’t miss anything are so helpful.

They can help tremendously by:

  1. Showing you every last thing you need to do when someone passes (that way you know when you’re done).
  2. Giving you an exact list of deadlines and timelines for your particular state and jurisdiction.
  3. Highlighting other key details in local laws you should be aware of.
  4. Keeping all of your related tasks in one spot on your phone.
  5. Making sure you calculate the value of your assets correctly (miscalculation is a common and costly mistake).

So if skipping the headaches by having a step-by-step guide of what to do when someone passes in your particular jurisdiction sounds good to you, then click here.

Atticus ad confident executrix #1 probate app

What's Unique about Wyoming Probate

Every single State has its own special rules, even individual counties can change how they talk about probate!

The terms used can change in name, deadlines and timelines can be different, the way assets are distributed can vary — that’s why understanding probate in general is good, but after that you need to stick to resources that address your particular jurisdiction.

Here are some of Wyoming’s unique distinctions:

Don’t feel like you need to memorize these or read the entire probate code, but keep this list handy in case something trips you up in the future.

Do I have to go through Probate in Wyoming?

The short answer is usually, but not always. The larger your estate, the more likely you are to have to go through probate — particularly if you own real estate in Wyoming.

Probate usually happens when:

  • The will wasn’t written well
  • The assets are complex and high value
  • The proper heir is debated
  • There are disputes over how to divide certain assets
  • The heir or beneficiary is still a minor
  • Real estate is involved
  • Dying without a will in Wyoming

    Also known as “passing intestate”

    When someone dies without a Will in Wyoming, state law directs who gets the decedent’s property.

    This is known as dying intestate, and when this happens the property is governed by intestate succession laws.

    Generally, only spouses, registered domestic partners, and blood relatives inherit under intestate succession, while unmarried partners and friends do not.

    The general order of relatives who will inherit the decedent’s probate property is:
    1. Surviving spouse
    2. Children and grandchildren
    3. Parents
    4. Siblings
    5. Grandparents
    6. Aunts and uncles
    7. Other extended family

    And it’s important to remember that many types of assets may be inherited outside of the probate process, regardless of whether there is a will or not.

    For those items, intestate succession laws do not apply.

    Some of those examples include:

    1. Property titled to a living trust
    2. Life insurance proceeds with a named beneficiary
    3. Funds in an IRA, 401(k), or other retirement account with a named beneficiary
    4. Securities held in a transfer-on-death account
    5. Payable-on-death bank accounts
    6. Property owned in joint tenancy or tenancy by the entirety with someone else

    Read More: What assets are considered probate?

    Types of Probate in Wyoming

    There are different versions of probate in most states. They offer varying degrees of speed and complexity depending on the size and scope of the estate, and while most states and jurisdictions follow a similar flow, there’s no exact standard.

    Generally speaking, it’s best to pick the shortest route you qualify for, since that speeds up the whole process and gets the property in your or your family’s hands faster than full probate will.

    Are you a financial advisor? We've got something worth your while. ☕️

    Deadlines for Probate in Wyoming

    Part of effectively dealing with Wyoming probate is understanding your time constraints — you generally have to get moving quickly. It’s not ideal, but the state likes to keep things moving along to prevent backups in the courts.

    People often miss deadlines during probate, which really changes and complicates the process! You don’t want to be that person!

    Here are the deadlines for Wyoming probate that you need to know:

    🚨 Heads up:  Failing to properly file a notice creditors may be THE most common mistake people make during probate. If you don’t do a thorough job, you may be personally liable for the estate’s debts— which is NOT fun.

    ➡️  Click here for an easy tool that makes sure you don’t miss any creditor notifications

    Probate & Estate Settlement Forms in Wyoming

    Probate is mostly filling out forms. Here is a comprehensive list you can refer back to when going through probate in Wyoming:

    • Certificate of Filing Will
    • Petition of probate
    • Notice to creditors
    • Bond or Waiver of Bond
    • List of Interested Persons
    • Filing Inventory & Appraisal
    • Ongoing/annual accounting
    • Notice to beneficiaries (consent ‘all's good’ before close)
    • Filing for close of probate
    • Release of liability & responsibility

    How much Probate in Wyoming costs

    Probate and settling an estate generally costs an average of $15,000 unless you use tools that make it easier, but remember that the money you will be spending will be the estate’s money, not your own.

    Do I have to pay the personal representative?

    Yes. Being an executor or personal representative takes a lot of time, so they are usually compensated by the estate in return. If you’re doing all of the work for an estate in Wyoming and have been appointed the representative or administrator, then that person is you!

    Do I need to hire a lawyer for Probate in Wyoming?

    Lawyers can easily cost thousands of dollars during the estate settlement process, but if you know there is going to be a fight over any assets or have a complicated estate, it is definitely worth it.

    Here’s how to think through it:

    • You can absolutely prepare all of the probate forms yourself and do this on your own. Some states may require a lawyer for submitting them to probate court, but Wyoming doesn’t.
    • A lawyer will save you time and headaches.
    • A lawyer can make sure you don’t make big tax mistakes or miss any deadlines.
    • The larger and more complex your estate, the more reasons there are to get a lawyer.
    • While there are apps and tools that make probate much faster and more manageable for individuals, that doesn’t negate a lawyer’s worth. Nor does a lawyer mean using these tools is pointless. In fact, using something that lets you quickly value and catalog assets, communicate easily, and walk through the process step-by-step can lower the number of hours your lawyer spends, dropping the legal fees and improving the experience for everyone.

    Read more: When Should I Hire a Lawyer for Probate?

    Helpful Tools & Resources for Wyoming Probate

    Wyoming probate is all about organizing important documents, signing forms, and fair distribution. You end up doing a ton of little things along the way like taking pictures of anything valuable, transferring titles, finding deeds, contacting relevant beneficiaries… the list goes on.

    It can be a lot to keep track of, so here are some of our favorite ways to make this process feel less overwhelming:

    Helpful Tools to Save Money & Time

    Atticus Probate & Estate Settlement App

    Atticus takes this whole Wyoming probate process and boils it down into a simple checklist that feels manageable and makes sure you don’t forget a single thing.

    With atticus, you can check off each step, see useful tips that are specific to your state, take and upload photos of any valuables, give summaries and reports to heirs, sync up your financial accounts so you don’t have to constantly update your reports, and just generally make this after-death process take as little time, money, and energy as possible.

    👉  Check it out

    Atticus app icon petition for probate form

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    Disclaimer: The above information is provided for informational purposes only. While we do our best to keep our content and links up-to-date, state laws may change periodically, so be certain to confirm any state specific information with a local authoritative source such as the court clerk’s office, or if necessary, an attorney.

    For specific or individualized advice regarding your situation, please consult with a probate clerk of court, qualfied trust & estates tax &/or legal professional, or reference the Wyoming probate code.

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