If my father passed away leaving a Will naming me as sole beneficiary and executor, do I have to go through formal probate if he didn’t have many assets?

Or can I collect his assets using and file under small estate under laws? In the state, small estates are those valued under $150,000. Here is a list of assets:Cash $1,480 – checking acct. $2,175 – $1,100 in owed wages by employer – Misc. Household items $1,000 – truck $6,500 – car $13,500 – real property $245,000 (mortgaged debt $140,000). There are no other debts or assets.

Asked on October 4, 2014 under Estate Planning, California


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  The issue here will be the real property.  While some states do not let you use a small estate proceeding if the estate owns real property, California does, but it must be valued under $50,000.  That is a value at the time of death.  Here you state that the value is $245,000.  That would not allow you to use the small estate proceeding.  Good luck.

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