If my mom passed away without a Will and nothing of value except company stocks valuing less than $10,000, do I have to go through probate?

She had always mentioned that she wanted the stocks to split between her 2 grandchildren. Can I just give it to them? She left a credit card bill. My dad is still alive.

Asked on February 12, 2015 under Estate Planning, New York

Answers:

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your Mom.

Her estate is too small for probate.  Probate is only required for large estates.

The problem however is that since she did not leave a Will, the rules of intestate succession determine inheritance.  Intestate means dying without a Will.

Under intestate succession, the surviving spouse inherits your Mom's entire estate.  Therefore, your Dad inherits the stock.  If he agrees in writing to give the stock to the grandchildren, that may resolve the issue, but he is not required to do that.


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