My mother died with her only assets being a $700 bank account and a car that is worth under a $1000, do we still need to go through probate?

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My mother died with her only assets being a $700 bank account and a car that is worth under a $1000, do we still need to go through probate?

Can we dispose of the car and use the account to pay her bills without probate?

Asked on April 13, 2012 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

Sorry to hear about your mother.

Her estate is too small to go to probate.  States have a minimum amount beyond which probate of an estate is required.  The amount varies from state to state, but your mother's estate is too small for probate. 

If your mother left a Will, there may be provisions in the Will regarding the car and the bank account.  If the executor has to pay bills out of the estate, and the Will is silent as to disposition of the bank account and car, then those assets could be used to pay the bills.


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