The advent of electronic filing soon will change some longstanding practices in Marion Superior probate court.
Probate Judge Steve Eichholtz said Marion County for years has had a somewhat unique local rule in which personal representatives opening estates or petitioners for guardianships were required to appear in court before a judge. The requisite “walk-in” no longer will be required in all cases under changes expected to take effect in mid-January.
“While it was a nice thing, it seemed like kind of an unnecessary step” since all official court filings now must be made electronically, Eichholtz said. “Probably 95 percent of the time, (petitions) will be granted and letters will issue.” The court, however, retains the option of calling petitioners to court if more information is needed.
Another rule change attributed to e-filing is that the court will no longer require paper filing of original wills. Instead, e-filers will swear an affidavit that the electronic version of the will is an original that the filer or the filer’s attorney will maintain. Upon request, the original will be brought to court under the rule.
Eichholtz said he asked lawyers for input on the rules months ago. Some had concerns Eichholtz said the court tried to address in the proposed amendments to local rules. The proposed rule amendments may be viewed here, and comments will be accepted through noon Jan. 12. The amended rule will take effect Jan. 13.