If my mother passed away and left no Will, how do I obtain Letters Testamentary?

UPDATED: Mar 12, 2015

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If my mother passed away and left no Will, how do I obtain Letters Testamentary?

She had no property. All she had was a life insurance policy which she had my father listed as the beneficiary. My father passed away almost 31 years ago. She did not do any paperwork to name an executor, talked about but never got to it. I know that I need Letters Testamentary. Do I need to go through a lawyer or is that something I can fill out have notarized and then file with the court? The policy is for less then $10,000 and most of that will pay for funeral expenses.

Asked on March 12, 2015 under Estate Planning, Idaho


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

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  The state of Idaho has what is called a small estate proceeding which allows you to collect assets of the estate with only an affidavit. The estate must be under $100,000.  See of the insurer will allow that here so that you do not have to go through probate.  If not, they also have a simplified probate administration.  You would go down to the Probate Court in the county in which you Mother resided at the time of her death to file the petition.  You may be able to download the petition online.   The Will would not have mattered in this case becuase of the insurance policy being left to your Dad.  That could have been avoided by changing the beneficiary.   Good luck.  

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