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Does my father's will need to be probated?

Newport, OR |

My dad is 65 years old and is in the process of dying. He is unmarried, and he has a will, naming my Uncle (his brother) as executor, and has specified that all his possessions are to go to my two sisters and I, to be divided amongst ourselves in whatever manner we choose. The three of us are already pretty much in agreement as to who gets what, as over the years he has promised various things to each of us. He has no real property, and two pensions, the smaller of which my younger sister is the sole benificiary, and the larger of which my older sister and I are joint benificiaries. He also has two junker automobiles, and a small motor boat, which my sisters and I have already come to an agreement as to what to do with. We need to know if the will needs to be probated or not.

Attorney Answers 3


  1. If ALL of the assets are personal items, then the answer is probably not. There is likely a simple non-probate process for changing title to the vehicles. Assets that have title, however, may need to be probated. There may be a small estate proceeding, if the value is small enough. Your best bet is to take advantage of a free consultation with a probate attorney to help you figure out what action is needed.

    James Frederick

    ***Please be sure to mark if you find the answer "helpful" or a "best" answer. Thank you! I hope this helps. ***************************************** LEGAL DISCLAIMER I am licensed to practice law in the State of Michigan and have offices in Wayne and Ingham Counties. My practice is focused in the areas of estate planning and probate administration. I am ethically required to state that the above answer does not create an attorney/client relationship. These responses should be considered general legal education and are intended to provide general information about the question asked. Frequently, the question does not include important facts that, if known, could significantly change the answer. Information provided on this site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in your state. The law changes frequently and varies from state to state. If I refer to your state's laws, you should not rely on what I say; I just did a quick Internet search and found something that looked relevant that I hoped you would find helpful. You should verify and confirm any information provided with an attorney licensed in your state. I hope you our answer helpful!


  2. I agree with attorney Frederick. Small estates can usually be handled by Affidavit or other small estate administration procedures. As your uncle will be executor, he should consult with a probate attorney when the time comes.

    Please note that I am answering this question as a service through Avvo but not as your attorney and no attorney-client relationship is established by this posting. An attorney-client relationship can only be established through signing a Fee Agreement and paying the necessary advanced fees.


  3. I agree with Mr. Frederick and Ms. Reed. The major assets have probate substitutes (beneficiary designations) and the other assets should be able to be dealt with through the DMV and other substitute procedures.

    The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or given me confidential information by posting on this public forum, and my answer on this public forum does not constitute attorney-client advice. IRS Circular 230 Disclosure: In order to comply with requirements imposed by the Internal Revenue Service, we inform you that any U.S. tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended to be used, and cannot be used, for the purpose of (i) avoiding penalties under the Internal Revenue Code or (ii) promoting, marketing, or recommending to another party any transaction or matter addressed herein. While I am licensed to practice in New York and California, I do not actively practice in New York. Regardless, nothing said should be deemed an opinion of law of any state. All readers need to do their own research or pay an attorney for a legal opinion if one is necessary or desired.

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