Do we need to probate an estate with little assets?

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Do we need to probate an estate with little assets?

Just my sister and me. Real estate already deeded to us. Our names are on the checking account. No other funds. Only personal property (furniture, household items, car). Will leaves everything to us equally. Do we need to probate?

Asked on September 6, 2010 under Estate Planning, Kentucky

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Among other things, probate provides for the transfer of titled property (house, car, etc), if not otherwise provided for.  It is also how the claims of creditors are addressed and met.  If there is no property that needs to have ownership transferred, or if there is no outstanding debt to be paid, then you do not need to go through probate, whether or not there is a Will. 

Additionally, most states allow a limited amount of property to pass to certain beneficiaries free of probate or through a simplified probate procedure. In Ky in a situation such as your,s you can apply for a "Petition to Dispense with Administration". Here is a link to the required form: http://courts.ky.gov/NR/rdonlyres/1A4465EC-A696-4117-9A49-7EE9F8AB70B8/0/830.pdf


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