If my father passed away and I’m the sole beneficiary but he left no Will, what paperwork or notifications do I need to make?

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If my father passed away and I’m the sole beneficiary but he left no Will, what paperwork or notifications do I need to make?

What do I need to do, other than the federal notifications to the IRS, Social Security, etc, which have been done. I was living in the residence with him and will be staying in the same residence. Do I need to notify and change utilities and others, even though I will still be residing and paying bills? He verbally left everything to me.

Asked on August 7, 2013 under Estate Planning, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Most probate estates for which there is no Will, involve the following steps:

  • Filing of an application/petition with the appropriate probate court;
  • Notice to the statutory heirs;
  • Application to appoint an Administrator;
  • Notice to creditors to be published as required by law;
  • Inventory and appraisall of estate assets to be filed with the court;
  • Payment of estate debts to the rightful creditors;
  • Sale of estate assets, if necessary; 
  • Payment of estate taxes, if applicable; and
  • Final distribution of assets to the heirs.

For more specific information, you can google the name of the county that has jurisdiction over the matter and enter the word "probate" or you can consult directly with a probate attorney in the area.


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