I'm the Executor and about to write checks (based on amounts reviewed by an attorney). If I can locate my estranged brother and he and my other siblings sign the Acknowledgement of Service and Consent to Petition, does the Petition for Discharge of Personal Representative still have to be completed in full and filed with the Probate Court to close the estate and release me from liability? Do all mailings of any kind have to be sent certified/return receipt requested? Do the heirs get the Inventory and Final Return at the same time as their distributions?
If you want to get discharged from further obligations concerning administration, it does no good to have your siblings sign the Acknowledgment form, but then you not file the Petition with the Court so they can grant it. Certified mail is ordinarily only required (or one of multiple acceptable options) for service of papers when there is a statutory requirement for service; if you are just sending copies of filings to other parties, regular US Mail or in-person delivery (e.g., hand delivery) is sufficient. If you haven't already provided copies of the Inventory and Final Return to the siblings, you need to provide them with copies. Keep in mind that whenever you file anything with a court in any type of case, you need to provide the other side with a copy of it -- that's just one of the mandatory court rules.
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