What do I do if my brother passed away without a Will?

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What do I do if my brother passed away without a Will?

Deceased brother’s employer gave me 2 checks in his name. The woman he lived with will not give me any bank or financial information; she informed me that she was going to pay bills. She tried to cash a check and it bounced but still will no divulge financial information. He had several vehicles and 1 new motor scooter not registered yet, plus and in another state. I was told that I need to fill out a short probate form. I have searched for forms but did not understand or find the correct forms. Our parent are deceased and i am his only sibling. What am I to do?

Asked on October 25, 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 and for the problems that have ensued.  You need to be appointed as the fiduciary - personal representative - of the estate of your brother in order to be able to deal with a transfer of the vehicles, the money owed by his employer and his girlfriend.  He has debts it seems if there are bills to be paid but it also appears that you are the sole distributee of his estate once all the debts have been paid. I am going to give you a link to the California judicial branch that appears to have the forms necessary for you to begin the probate process.  You need to file the probate in the county in which he resided at the time of his death.  While the clerks in the probate court can not render legal advice they are generally more than happy to point you in the right direction.  Good luck.

  http://www.courts.ca.gov/forms.htm


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