You avoid probate if there is a trust. Therefore for an estate valued at more than $100,000.00 when there is no trust, requires that you go through formal probate procedures. To become the executor of the estate you will need to file the original will and the applicate to begin probate and letters of testamentary to be appointed as the representative. If there is no will and no trust you will need to file the application to begin probate and letters of administration to be named the administrator (not executor) of the estate.
There are many "how to probate" books you can access at your major book store or law library. You can also see the following link for the initiating forms:
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