How do you initiate probate?

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How do you initiate probate?

My brother, single, died with no Will. What do we do with his property? He rented but had a car.

Asked on November 17, 2011 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  If your brother died with out a Will he is said to have died "intestate" and the intestacy laws in the sate of California will govern how his estate will be distributed.  If he rented an apartment most state law allows for cancellation of the lease agreement upon death.  That way the estate is not responsible for the remaining months on the lase. You will just need to get his belongings out of the apartment as soon as you can or make some deal with the landlord to pay through say December to give you more time. Next, you need to have someone appointed as the personal representative of his estate.  Now, it does not sound as if he had a very large estate here.  If that is true then California allows for a Small Estate Proceeding which is an easier proceeding and less time consuming.  Only the personal representative that is appointed can sell or transfer the car.  Good luck.


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