I am a Certified Paralegal in the State of Texas so I can only give you information for my state. I have seen Wills probated without a lawyer if the Executor/Executrix is very familiar with the probate process -- and there is a definite process one must follow. If there is no Will, as you've indicated in your notes, then the probate process is possibly unnecessary in your state. I would suggest, however, if there are multiple heirs and there is real property (house, land, etc.) involved -- and no Will -- you would be well advised to consult a lawyer to see exactly where you stand before making a decision as to handling the Estate. Most states have a source of free legal advice and perhaps you could check the internet and discuss your situation with someone in that office free of charge. In my opinion, competent legal advice is definitely needed here as there is no Will. Hope this helps!