If my mother dies with no assets,does her Will need to be probated?

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If my mother dies with no assets,does her Will need to be probated?

My mother is on medicaid and in a nursing home. She has a will but there are no assets remaining. Executor is my estranged sister. Does she need to prepare a new Will? Can we just notify social security, veterans and medicaid at her death?

Asked on October 23, 2010 under Estate Planning, Ohio

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Technically under the law if there is a Last Will and Testament then the Executor is required to probate same.  Some states, such as Rhode Island, have what is known as a Petition to File a Will with No Assets.  Such as petition allows the fiduciary to complete their responsibility to probate under the law.  I would check with an estate attorney in your area as to what the best path is for you here.  You say that you sister is estranged so it may be best for your Mother to prepare something new or just formally revoke her old Will. This way things are in place and taken care of when the time comes. Good luck.    


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