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Katherine T. Hause

Katherine Hause’s Answers

2 total

  • What happens to retirement accounts and bank accounts after a person without a will dies?

    My son has a retirement account at Vanguard worth about $100,000 right now. He is 51 and has no will. He has no other assets except a savings account with about $8,000 in it. If he should die unexpectedly, what is the court procedure for th...

    Katherine’s Answer

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    Probate Code Section 13100 et seq. sets forth the parameters for a Small Estate Affidavit. Basically, the code states that if the decedent has less than $150,000 in assets, the collection and distribution of the estate can occur by completing this 13100 Affidavit. It is a simple document that sets forth the decedent's name and date of death and describes their property. It also names the decedent's successors - the persons who would inherit the property. I would highly recommend contacting a Probate attorney to have this form completed when the time comes as the Probate Code needs to be carefully followed.

    I also agree with my colleague - having him designate a beneficiary for his retirement account would simplify things. You could then complete the 13100 Affidavit for his savings account and any other small assets.

    Again, contacting a Probate and Estates attorney would be very helpful here, so that you can make sure that all of your bases are covered.

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  • Close of probate?

    I was granted waiver of accounting/waiver of executor fees/and final distribution by the probate court. As executor and sole heir with no beneficiaries does this mean the probate case is officially closed and all funds can be distributed to my...

    Katherine’s Answer

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    You're almost done! Since it sounds like you have a signed Order for Distribution from the court, you now have the authority to distribute the funds per the Order. It would be a good idea to prepare and sign a receipt for yourself, saying that you have received your full distribution, and file it with the court. At the same time, you will need to file an "Ex Parte Petition for Final Discharge and Order", judicial council form DE-295. The form acts as a checklist that makes sure you've done everything you're supposed to do, and states that the estate can be closed. Once the Judge signs off on the form, you're released from your fiduciary duties.

    If you have any questions about the form DE-295, please be sure to ask a Probate attorney.

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