Is there some way to avoid probate?

My mother died last year and she owned her home with no debt. She only had 2 children – my brother and I. The home is worth 33,000 and we both agree 50/50 with the estate. Is there anything we can do so that we don’t have to go to probate? We are both on SSI and really can’t afford to pay attorneys fees, court costs, plus filing fees. Can someone please help me out on what to do?

Asked on July 17, 2012 under Estate Planning, Florida

Answers:

FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

You need to look at the deed to the property that you have written about to see if title was in your mother's name as well as yurs and your brother's in joint tenancy with the right of survivorship. If so, then you do not need a probate to transfer title. You need an affidavit of surviving joint tenant and a certified copy of the mother's death certificate attached to the affidavit dated, signed and recorded with your county recorder's office.

Since you do not have the money to take care of a probate even though by statute fees for an attorney are based upon a contingency per size of the estate, you should contact your local legal aid office for help or your county bar association to see if there is a program in place to assist someone such as you with your situation.


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