How long do you have to file a probate with the courts?

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How long do you have to file a probate with the courts?

I have no money to hire an attorney, nor anyone else. It’s been almost 3 months since the person passed. I’ve looked and asked so many places for help. Also asked could they refer me to someone that might help me. With no luck. I’ve called city, county, state and government and every other place looking for help. Only need probate to transfer title to this house over to me. What do I do?

Asked on April 12, 2011 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

When you say that you have asked everyone for help have you gone to the probate court in the county in which the decedent resided as well?  They would have told you that you need to file a petition to be appointed as the personal representative of the estate.  If there is a Will then the executor has to do it.  If you have no money for the filing then you can see if you could apply for a waiver based upon indigent status.  If the estate were less than $100,000.00 then you could apply for a small estate proceeding but I am guessing that the house is worth more than that, correct? Then the small estate would not apply.  You will also probably need an appraisal of the property.  The personal representative can transfer the property by what is known as an executor's deed.  The estate will have to pay the filing costs for the deed.  You are going to need some cash here.  The personal representative may have to sell some of the assets of the estate like the furnishings in the house.  I am sorry that I can not be of any additional help in this forum but I would try speaking with the clerks of the probate court in person.  They often have guide books and can give you the forms you need.  Good luck. 


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