What to do if my mother passed away last week without a surviving spouse aor a Will?

Her only assets are her car, worth about $1000, and a tiny bit of money in her checking account. We have not yet accessed her safe deposit box to see for sure that there is no Will.

Asked on November 4, 2013 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

Anne Brady / Law Office of Anne Brady

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

You should take your identification and a copy of your mother's death certificate to the bank to check for a will and also to see if there is anything of value in the safety deposit box.  In most states, if the assets are small enough, no probate is necessary and the decedent's beneficiaries under the laws of intestate succession (in this case you and any other children your mother had who are living) can just divide up the assets as they see fit.  Check at the bank to find out if there is a pay-on-death beneficiary on the checking account.  That would be helpful.


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