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If a deceased person did not have a will, no estate, property, etc, does it still need to go to probate?

San Jose, CA |

The only thing left behind was a workers comp settlement lump sum if money to which my brother and I are named beneficiaries. The company that has her account is claiming they will not talk to me. They will only talk to whomever represents her estate. There is no estate. No will, no property, bank accounts, etc. I have the original paperwork when thus account was set up in 2005. On the monthly statements it says that if the person should die, all remaining monies use go 100 percent to the the beneficiaries or estate. The so called president of this company refuses now to communicate with me and had yet to take a phone call from me as well. They have the death cert as well as other legal docs that give my brother and I durable power of attorney. I am angry and it has been 1 month of this.

Attorney Answers 3


To end your frustration, have an attorney review your paperwork and write a letter to the company demanding payment. If you and your brother are named beneficiaries you should be able to accomplish this fairly quickly and inexpensively.

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I agree that if you are beneficiaries (like an insurance policy) then you should not need probate at least as to this item but obviously you are not getting anywhere on your own. The POA is not valid after death so that does not matter.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website:

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There is an estate. You need to talk to a probate attorney. If the value of the estate is less than $150,000 then you can file an affidavit for probate of a small estate. There is NO durable power of attorney that is valid. Once a person dies, then a durable power of attorney is invalid and it cannot substitute for a will. You must probate their estate.

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