If my father recently passed, do we have to go through probate court or can we just simply change ownership of his house and cars and divide the proceeds?

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If my father recently passed, do we have to go through probate court or can we just simply change ownership of his house and cars and divide the proceeds?

My 2 siblings and I are the equal beneficiaries. The only assets are a paid off house (approximately $400,000), 2 cars and misc household items, including some antiques. He had no debt. He did not name an executor.

Asked on May 26, 2015 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Virtually all states have simplified probate procedures for small estates. Unfortunately in CA, an estate cannot be valued at more than $150,000, therefore this option is not available to you. A formal probate proceeding will be needed. For more information here is a link to a site that I think you will find to be of herlp: http://www.courts.ca.gov/8865.htm You can also consult with a probate attorney in your area.


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