While probate courts primarily handle the estates of deceased people, they also play an important role in protecting the rights of people with special needs- the mentally ill, orphaned children, the elderly, and developmentally disabled people. While the name of probate courts vary from state to state, all probate courts encounter unique issues and have specialized practices and proceedings that allow them to respond appropriately, including information relating to jurisdiction, administration, practices, and various procedures implemented.
Links to related online resources are listed below. Non-digitized publications may
be borrowed from the NCSC Library; call numbers are provided.
The revised standards replace the 1993 standards and reflect 20 years of evolution of probate courts. While they are aspirational in nature, the goals should be obtainable by probate courts that are provided with reasonable levels of resources. The Standards focus on probate court but would apply to any judge responsible for a probate matter.
This database compiles state-by-state information about Case Processing Time Standards (CPTS) including Probate and how states monitor them.
Probate Court Technology Vendors from the Court Technology Vendor List.
Some probate courts are now considering time standards and new case management strategies and tools to handle expanding caseloads, including differentiated case management (DCM) both before and after fiduciary appointment.
Legal guardianship by kin or foster parents is becoming a promising alternative to long-term foster care for children when adoption is not viable.
This report provides an in-depth study of adult guardianship and conservatorship cases handled by the Maricopa Probate Court. The report compares monitoring practices to National Probate Standards, assesses the Probate Department’s new programs and procedures, surveys promising practices from other jurisdictions, and recommends promising practices which would be suitable for Maricopa’s Probate Department.
A projection of active pending adult-guardianship cases nationwide demonstrates the need for improved data collection. Retrospectively, 2010 may be remembered as a pivotal year in the call for guardianship reform at both federal and state levels.
Increases in three populations—the elderly, persons with disabilities, and the homeless—will require courts to rethink and revise approaches to decision-making assistance.
This report discusses monitoring the elderly and how this is becoming an increasingly important issue as the baby boomer generation ages. Milestones and information about good practices of guardianship monitoring are also shown.
This table is a result of a survey conducted by the National College of Probate Judges. It shows where probate cases (e.g., decadent's estates, conservatorships, guardianships, mental health commitments, adoptions) are heard in the state courts.
This is a presentation introduces fifteen "red flags" of fiduciary abuse, exploitation, neglect, and misappropriation and demonstrates the ways in which a court can help prevent financial abuse and control losses in guardianship or conservatorship cases.
Judge Ferchill from Fort Worth, Texas has created a guardianship department that uses a systems management approach to meet the mandates for guardianship in the probate court.
Probate practice, jurisdiction, and the structure of courts exercising probate jurisdiction vary greatly from state to state. There is often a dramatic difference in the terminology used in probate courts and the type of cases included within the term, probate. Consequently, there is a limited degree of consistency in the practice and procedures used to resolve probate proceedings.
A Health Care Provider`s Guide. Despite widespread agreement on the principles that should govern decisions about life-sustaining medical treatment, disputes about forgoing treatment continue to erupt within health care organizations.
Judge Larry Belskis presents some helpful ideas from his experience as a probate judge.
In the absence of any widely accepted model of interstate communication for probate courts, the NCPJ initiated a research project with the National Center for State Courts (NCSC) to study the incidence of interstate guardianships and to explore avenues for facilitating interstate communication and cooperation among probate courts.
This paper suggests some of the ways to improve the management of judges workload and dockets without expecting additional support staff.