If my mother’s estate has no value, how can it be closed?

My mother died a year ago and no Will can be found. My sister has had power of attorney for several years. The only value in the estate is the house. In that area the house is not worth more than about 40k. She was receiving long term care from the state and the amount exceeds the worth of the house. Arethere any specific steps that can be taken to close the estate?

Asked on November 29, 2011 under Estate Planning, Washington


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

There is a process in many states in this country where a person dies with a Will or without one leaving a relatively small estate ($100,000) or less where one can file a petition with the court and the estate gets resolved in a relatively expedited manner.

There may be forms online in your state to help you with the process. The issue that I see is that all creditors of your mother's estate have to have an opportunity to make a claim and title to her home has to be transferred through intestate succession. That is a process where a person dies with no Will and the state that you live in through its statutes on the subject determines which relatives receive what assets typically based upon closest degree of relation.

I suggest that you consult with a Wills and trust attorney about the above process.

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