Can probate be avoided after death?

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Can probate be avoided after death?

My 25 year old son passed away 2 weeks ago. He was not married, no children. He had 1 auto loan that we paid off last week. He had no other liabilities. The only assets he owned were 2 cars and a checking account. Can probate be avoided?

Asked on March 6, 2018 under Estate Planning, Indiana

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Yes it can. In a case in which only a few assets of low value are left, there are 2 options: a small estate procedure or a simple affidavit. With the affidavit, heirs or beneficiaries can skip probate altogether if the value of the assets is at or under $50,000. All an inheritor has to do is prepare a short document, stating that they are entitled to a certain asset. This document, an affidavit, is signed under oath. It just need be presented to the person/entity as approriate. The small estate procedure is used for real estate and/or assets over $50,000 but does not seem needed for the estate that you have described.


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