How to probate a small estate?

UPDATED: Aug 29, 2011

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How to probate a small estate?

My grandmother passed away recently. She had a signed Will with a witness affidavit attached. She had no real estate, only a small IRA. The entire estate is worth less thank $50,000. The two named heirs are in total agreement to the distribution of items (money, jewelry, silver, etc.). Do we need to go through probate? Or can we just distribute the property, pay creditors, and file a final tax return ourselves?

Asked on August 29, 2011 Arizona


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Under the laws of most states there is a special expedited process for small estates to be probated or adminsitered (if no will exists) with nominal amounts of filings. The maximum amount of usch an estate is usually $100,000.00. The term used for such a process is usually "administration of small estates."

You can obtain the pre-printed forms to do such a probate usually online through a google search. As part of the probate process, creditors are given notice of the proceeding who can then submit claims that can either be accepted or denied by the etate's representative. One there is a court approving the distribution of the estate's assets and the payment of all income and estate taxes the final distribution of assets can take place.

Good question.

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