If my mother died 14 years ago intestate, who is legally bound to start the probate proceedings?

UPDATED: Apr 1, 2015

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If my mother died 14 years ago intestate, who is legally bound to start the probate proceedings?

Her estate is valued at $28,000 (her house). She has 5 living children and no one has stepped up to the plate. One adult child is living in the home.

Asked on April 1, 2015 under Estate Planning, Washington


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

If there is no Will naming an executor then no one is really "legally bound" to file an estate should they choose not to step up to the plate and take on the responsibility.  Even a named executor can renounce and step down.  The court does not force a person to act but the court can appoint an administrator if they so choose.  The value of your Mom's assets are date of death value so the house must be appriased as of 14 years ago.  Please seek legal help.  Good luck.

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