Do I need to probate my mom’s Will if she left no assets?

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Do I need to probate my mom’s Will if she left no assets?

My parents made Wills 43 years ago; they left everything to each other. If both died then my brother and I would share the estate. He was 2 and I was 6 months. They later had 2 more children but never added them to the Will. My dad died 12 years ago; my mom passed last month. My brother has rejected the family and did not even come when mom was dying. Besides that, there was no estate. My parents never owned a house or property, there was no car, even her bank account was overdrawn at the time of her death. Anything worth anything my brother sold years ago when he lived with mom. I lived with mom and was her caregiver for over 10 years. Do I need to probate the Will if there is no assets to divide?

Asked on March 15, 2018 under Estate Planning, Washington

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

Generally, if there are no estate assets a Will need not be admitted for probate. However, in some states, if you have possession of the original Will you must file it with the local probate court. Basically, you can drop the Will off with the court, thereby complying with state law and pay no fee. Here is a link to an article that will explain further: https://law.freeadvice.com/estate_planning/probate/go_through_probate_will.htm


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