If my mom’s died, is there a simple probate I can do because he has no assets?

My mom’s husband died without a Will. He has $2,200 sitting in his checking account but my mom does not have his pin to access. He has no other assets. My mom paid 9K for his funeral and really needs the money from the checking account to go to the funeral cost. He is survived by his wife, his daughter and son.

Asked on June 2, 2016 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

TX has several "shortcuts" so as to skip formal probate or probate altogether. One is an affidavit process. All an inheritor has to do is prepare a short document, stating that they are entitled to a certain asset and have it signed under oath. When the person/institution holding the property (i.e. a bank where the deceased person had an account) gets the affidavit and a copy of the death certificate, it releases the asset. This out-of-court procedure is available if there is no Will and the value of the entire estate, not including homestead and exempt property, is $50,000 or less. A probate judge must approve the affidavit and there is a 30-day waiting period. You can get further information online and/or go to the probate court in the county in which he was domiciled when he died.


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