What to do if my father just passed away and had no Will?

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What to do if my father just passed away and had no Will?

My mom passed away almost a year ago He had very little in assets so I am curious what my next steps should be. He had only minimum debt to a credit card and small medical debt. He owned a mobile home that is paid for (and about 14 years old), a car (that is not worth anything) and about $6,000 in checking and savings combined (only his name is on the account).

Asked on June 10, 2013 under Estate Planning, Iowa

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your losses.  If your parents did not have a Will then they are said to have dies "intestate" and the intestacy statutes in your state will apply.  Now, if everything was jointly owned when your Mom passed then the assets passed to your Dad automatically at the time of her death.  Your Father's estate will pass via the intestacy laws in your state.  Now, it looks like your Dad's estate may qualify for a Small estate. That is a streamlined procedure to probate estates. If the estate's total value is under $25,000 then you need not got to court at all.  See Iowa Code § 633.356.  If the estate is under $100,000 then it can be probated under Iowa Code § 635.1. I would suggest that you seek help on a consultation basis once all the assets have been valued, the debt deducted, and you have a better idea of what you are dealing with.  You may be able to do this on your own with a little guidance.  Good luck.


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