When do you need to probate?

UPDATED: May 24, 2012

Advertiser Disclosure

It’s all about you. We want to help you make the right legal decisions.

We strive to help you make confident insurance and legal decisions. Finding trusted and reliable insurance quotes and legal advice should be easy. This doesn’t influence our content. Our opinions are our own.

UPDATED: May 24, 2012Fact Checked

Get Legal Help Today

Compare Quotes From Top Companies and Save

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

When do you need to probate?

Our father passed away intestate a couple of months ago. He left behind about $6,000 worth of hospital bills and credit card debt. He and mom owned a joint account which had around $2,000 at the time of his death; we are in the process of transferring it to Mom’s name. He had a brokerage account with around $1,500. He had no other assets – car, home, etc. Do we need to go through the probate process and/or consult a lawyer regarding his debts? We have already sent the death certificate to his creditors. Are we running any risk by not doing anything more?

Asked on May 24, 2012 under Estate Planning, Kentucky


Kevin Bessant / Law Office of Kevin Bessant & Associates

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You will need to go to probate if your father passed intestate, and certain property is being challenged in terms of who it passes to, i.e. mom, children, etc. This usually involves matters of the estate of value that have not been designated in any will or trust. If nothing is being challenged by living heirs, and all financial matters and assets have been squared away, then there may be no need to probate your father's matter or consult legal counsel. While it is wise to consult an estate planning attorney to be sure all estate matters are clear, it is not a must if you feel comfortable in your efforts thus far. If you or another family member decides to become an executor of your father's estate, meaning you will be the person legally responsible for your fathers legal and financial matters as if he were still living, then yes, you will need to go to probate court to file a motion to become an executor.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

secured lock Secured with SHA-256 Encryption