How to handle the affairs of a deceased relative who lefta small estate?

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How to handle the affairs of a deceased relative who lefta small estate?

I want to have him cremated and need to dispose of his belongings. What do I need to do legally? He only has a vehicle and a small amount of property in his apartment. I assume he has a bank account. We have been estranged for many years but there is no other family to claim his body from the coroner. He was a verteran. What do I need to do legally to do the right thing for him?

Asked on October 15, 2010 under Estate Planning, Ohio

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You are very kind to do what you are doing.  Every state has amethod for probating a small estate.  Some allow it to be done by affidavit and some require that you be appointed as the persona reppresentaitve.  G down to the probate court in the county in which your relative resided at the time of his death.  Speak with the court clerks.  They can not give you legl advice but they can give you all the paperwork that will let you know the parameters for a small estate and th requirements.  I am guessing that you may need to be appointed here and obtain Letter of Administration to be abe to sign documents for cremation and liquidate his bank account. You ca also then sell the car and dispose of his personal items. You should also contact the VA's hospital as to obtaining a flag for his funeral.  You may want to consult with an attorney once you get an idea as to what else the estate holds. Good luck.


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