What form do I need to fill out to become the personal representative of my father’s estate?

My father recently passed away; my mother is still living. She received his final paycheck and a large bonus from his work. These checks were made payable to, “the estate of my father”. Therefore my mother was not able to cash them at her bank. An officer of there informed us that I would need to become the personal representative of the estate in order to transfer the funds. They told me to go to downtown and file some paperwork. I am not sure what forms I need to fill out?

Asked on July 27, 2015 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

Gregory Abbott / Consumer Law Northwest

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You don't need to fill out a form, you need to meet with a local probate attorney, and to not take your legal advice from bank employees.  You may or may not need to file a full probate of your father's estate, depending upon its size, contents, and your local State law.  If you do need a full probate and are going to be the personal representative, you are taking on numerous legal responsibilities and will have to comply with legal time deadlines, as well as doing a formal accounting of the estate assets, all according to the courts rules.  This is not a do-it-yourself project or Judge Judy - you need an attorney's help.

Gregory Abbott / Consumer Law Northwest

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

You don't need to fill out a form, you need to meet with a local probate attorney, and to not take your legal advice from bank employees.  You may or may not need to file a full probate of your father's estate, depending upon its size, contents, and your local State law.  If you do need a full probate and are going to be the personal representative, you are taking on numerous legal responsibilities and will have to comply with legal time deadlines, as well as doing a formal accounting of the estate assets, all according to the courts rules.  This is not a do-it-yourself project or Judge Judy - you need an attorney's help.

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

When somone dies without a Will a court case is needed. It will appoint an administrator to manage the estate during the probate process. The person who wants to be the administrator (personal representative) must file a Petition for Letters of Administration.

Here is a link to a site that you might find to be of help:

http://www.courts.ca.gov/8865.htm


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.