As the name implies, a supervised probate is supervised by the court. This type of probate is used primarily in cases where there are many assets or complex situations. A supervised probate is also used where it is likely there will be disputes among the beneficiaries and it may be necessary for the court to settle any disputes to protect the personal representative or other parties.
Supervised probates can be time consuming and more expensive because actions by the personal representative, such as selling real estate, need to be approved in advance by the court. Court notice requirements can cause delay.
Also, the court must approve a final account before an estate can be closed. The final account includes a breakdown of all of the assets of the estate, all of the income and expenses of the estate, and a list of distributions. The court may require detailed proof of income and expenses.
Unless the estate presents complex issues or the parties anticipate controversy, the parties should usually opt for an unsupervised probate over a supervised probate unless a supervised is required by law.