If my 88 year old mother has assets of less than $5000 and a notarized list of who she wants to get what, do we need to go through probate court?

Or can we just dispose of her things as she requested? She has an old car and misc. personal items?

Asked on July 16, 2015 under Estate Planning, Virginia


M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

In order to cover situations such as yours, "small estate" laws were enacted in order to enable heirs to obtain property without the need of probate or at least with shortened probate proceedings. As long as certain requirements are met, small estates proceedings can be used less time and cost than if a formal probate had to be used.

Here is a link to a site that will provide further information for your state:


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