What are my rights if a close friend just passed away and left her estate to my son and me?

UPDATED: Jul 16, 2013

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What are my rights if a close friend just passed away and left her estate to my son and me?

She also named me as executor of her estate which is worth less than $150,000. It is my understanding that the Will must be probated. Do I have any rights to her bank account or other funds prior to probate?

Asked on July 16, 2013 under Estate Planning, Oklahoma


Nathan Wagner / Law Office of Nathan Wagner

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Your friend may have filed a form at the bank, designating you or your son as beneficiary of her account. If so, the bank should allow you to access her accounts and you would not have to go to probate court. If not, you will probably have to get a court order naming you as personal representative or executor of the estate. 

Also, in California, there is a faster alternative to full probate procedings, which can be used for estates that are worth less than $150,000. You should find out whether your state has a similar small estate procedure. 

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