Do you have to probate a Will if the only assets are cash accounts less than $100,000?

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Do you have to probate a Will if the only assets are cash accounts less than $100,000?

My mother died and her cash accounts are to be split between the beneficiaries. I’m executrix and my name is on all accounts and I have full access to them. Can I just pay the remaining medical bills and then send a check to each beneficiary without going through probate?

Asked on June 28, 2011 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  No,I would not suggest that you do that.  Not only do you have to pay the debts of the estate but also the taxes of the estate prior to disbursing the remaining funds to the beneficiaries.  If you send them checks without finalizing the matter you could be held liable.  Now, I think that you have some understanding that there should be an amount that makes it easier to probate an estate, known as a small estate.  That just requires less work and less documentation for filing but it does not alleviate the need to file taxes, etc.  Get help here.  Good luck.


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