If my father died intestate but there is no money to pay for the probate, what can I do?

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If my father died intestate but there is no money to pay for the probate, what can I do?

As a courtesy to his creditors, I sent death certificates and notified them he died intestate. They send me letters demanding to know who his handling his estate. I know he had no assets and I realize that  technically his estate must go through probate but can I ignore these letters? He died in OH; I’m in AZ.

Asked on March 4, 2011 under Estate Planning, Ohio

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Small estate laws were enacted in order to enable heirs to obtain property of the deceased without probate, or with shortened probate proceedings, provided certain conditions are met. These estates can be administered with less time and cost. Under OH law an estate is permitted if an estate is valued at less than $100,00. An authorized party may file a request with the court that the estate be resolved by "summary administration" (i.e. without the regular process of a formal administration). If the court finds the request valid, the court may enter an order relieving the estate from administration and directing delivery of personal property and transfer of real estate to the persons entitled to the personal property or real estate.  At this point you need to contact the probate court in the county where your father was domiciled when he died.  It will have the correct forms for doing this.

S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your father.

If your father had no assets, there is no need for probate.  Small estates and estates where there are no assets do not go through probate.  When the creditors contact you, tell them there are no assets and there is no probate. 


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