If my brother passed away several months ago, what do I need to do about his estate?

He was essentially indigent – no bank account, no savings and several thousand dollars in credit debt. Checks for minor payments to him have arrived in the mail; $170 for a couple of days work at his new job and an IRS check for refund. As the only surviving immediate relative (no spouse ever), what do I have to do legally to act in his name?

Asked on October 6, 2013 under Estate Planning, California


Nathan Wagner / Law Office of Nathan Wagner

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You are not required to do anything. If his debts are more than his assets, then his credit card company (or his other creditors) may want to open a probate case to get at the assets you described. But being his closest living relative does not mean you not have to open probate for them.

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