How Probate Laws Work in New Hampshire

When a person dies, their estate must be dispersed. Even though the family may be grieving, they have other issues to deal with that cannot wait. While it can be an emotional time, practical matters must be attended to.

The legal process of handling a decedent’s estate is called probate. This process is found in every state, but the laws can vary based on where the decedent lived. New Hampshire has specific statutes that govern how probate is conducted. If you’re involved in an estate, you should know the basics about New Hampshire probate.

Is Probate Required in New Mexico?

The short answer to this question is “yes.” Probate is required for estates in New Hampshire unless certain specific requirements are met.

How Do You Avoid Probate in New Hampshire?

While probate is generally required for estates in New Hampshire, there are exceptions. The best way to avoid probate with an estate is to place it in a revocable living trust. This allows the person to still have control over the assets and even to change their mind. At the same time, the named beneficiary receives the assets of the trust without the need for probate.

If an asset is owned by more than one person, the surviving owners would have control of it. Other assets may have someone listed as a beneficiary, which would allow them to bypass probate. A prime example is with a checking account that has a person listed as payable on death. Life insurance policies usually have beneficiaries as well as retirement accounts, certificates of deposit and other investment items.

Can an Executor of an Estate in New Hampshire be Compensated?

Yes, an executor of an estate in New Hampshire has the right to receive compensation for their time. They can also be reimbursed for any expenses they paid during their work with the estate.

How Much Does an Executor in New Hampshire Get Paid?

New Hampshire doesn’t give a specific amount for the executor to be paid. Instead, the statute states they are to receive reasonable fees. They are subject to court approval, which may be based on the size of the estate and how complicated it was to manage as well as what similar estates have paid in the past.

How Long Does Probate in New Hampshire Take?

Probate will take at least six months by the time you file all the paperwork and pay creditors. However, they have up to one year to submit claims, which means that most estates will be open at least that long. If there are contests to the will or other delays, the process can take much longer. In fact, it can last several years before probate is resolved.

Do All Estates Have to Go Through Probate in New Hampshire?

Even though most estates will need to go through probate, there are a couple of options. If an estate doesn’t quality to avoid probate because of a living trust or joint ownership, it may be eligible for simplified procedures for a few conditions. In most states, the value of the estate determines whether it qualifies for small estate probate. In New Hampshire, any estate may qualify if a few requirements are met. For instance, the will must name the spouse as the sole beneficiary or the child if there is no spouse. The administrator must state that they don’t know of any unpaid debts.

Does a Will Have to Be Probated in New Hampshire?

A will must be entered into a court’s records when someone dies. It is filed in the county where the decedent lived. The court will validate the will if necessary and handle any challenges made against it. This is true even if there is no assets to probate.

Settling an Estate in New Hampshire

An estate is settled in pretty much the same way in all states. However, there are specific details, such as deadlines to be followed and forms to be filled out that are specific to a state. The steps are fairly simple and easy to follow once you know what needs to be done. It’s important to know how probate works if you’re involved in an estate.

For formal probate, the courts may oversee each step and approve of all actions before they occur. With a simplified probate process, the oversight isn’t usually necessary.

How Long Do You Have to File Probate After a Death in New Hampshire?

The will must be filed with the county court within 30 days after the person’s death. However, probate doesn’t have to commence at that time. It should be commenced in a timely manner and is often opened at the same time the will is presented.

Probate Court in New Hampshire

Probate is handled by the Circuit Court in the probate division. You can find the location of the courts and the areas where they have jurisdiction on the New Hampshire Judicial Branch website New Hampshire Judicial Branch – Circuit Court Probate Division (

Probate Code in New Hampshire

New Hampshire is one of the states that doesn’t follow the Uniform Probate Code. Instead, the state has its own code in the state statutes. The probate code is found in Title LVI of the New Hampshire Revised Statutes, which can be found on the New Hampshire website New Hampshire Statutes – Table of Contents (