Years Support Petition

A Years’ Support Petition may be filed even if there is a Will. The Petitioner is requesting that the property belonging to the estate, as set out, be awarded to them.


To begin the process, a Petition for Years’ Support must be filed with the Court. The Initial Filing Fees must be paid upon filing the petition. A spouse (or next friend to the spouse or minor child) may file the petition on behalf of the spouse or minor child. The petition has to be completely filled out, including a complete listing of each and every heir of the deceased, each heir’s age (or over 18), address and relationship to the deceased. NOTE: If you need help determining who are the heirs, you may use the “Heir Determination Worksheet”.

The Petition must be filed within 24 months after the decedent’s death. You must state whether or not the deceased had a Will, and if so, you must file the Will with the Court even if you do not plan to probate the Will. You should list any personal and/or real property owned by the deceased that you are seeking an award of, and describe the property, including account numbers, vehicle ID numbers, and legal description of any real estate. You must make a list all heirs, beneficiaries (if there is a Will), creditors, or other interested parties, complete with names, addresses, and relationship to the deceased. If an interested party acknowledges and consents to the Petition, they sign the acknowledgement and consent. Their signature must be notarized.

Court Process:

Once the Petition is filed and the filing fees paid, the petition is docketed and assigned a file number. The court reviews the Petition for deficiencies, and contacts the Petitioner if further information is needed to properly complete the petition. The Court prepares citation as needed, prepares any required notice, and has the notice published or served. There may additional costs for notices to be served. All creditors of the decedent, all heirs and beneficiaries, if there is a Will, and other interested parties are required to receive notice. If a Caveat is filed to this petition, a hearing is scheduled. The Court determines what percentage of the property is awarded in the Year’s Support. If no Caveat is filed to the petition, the Court can issue an Order granting the request. An Award of a Year’s Support will be issued upon payment of all court costs.

The filing fees for the petition must be paid at the time the petition is filed with the Probate Court. The Probate Court accepts cash, money orders, or personal checks made payable to “Richmond County Probate Court.” Any balance of court costs must be paid prior to the Order being issued.