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Mother passed away, can I transfer stock ownership without filing probate?

Fairfax, VA |

State of Virginia, Have Will naming me as executor, stocks not mentioned specificly in will, will divide with brother and sister all of us in agreement.

Attorney Answers 3


Not unless the value of the stocks is such that a non-probate small estate proceeding can be used. Otherwise, your agreement is irrelevant. No one has legal authority to agree, at this point. Probate is necessary, whether the stocks are mentioned in the Will or not. You have no authority as executor until an estate is opened and the court gives you that authority. You should have a probate attorney assist you with this.

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!

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I agree with my colleague.

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I actually think you may be able to transfer the stock if all of the personal property at your mother's death (that didn't pay on death to anyone, i.e. only those assets in her name with no beneficiary or joint owner) is less than the small estate threshold ($50,000). Per the small estate act you have to wait at least 60 days after her passing before requesting the transfer. I will say that as a practical matter some large companies are uncomfortable or unfamiliar with these small estate exceptions and will not transfer them to any person other than a court appointed administrator.

But court appointed administration is costly and cumbersome. It is worth the cost of a consultation fee to contact an estate administration attorney for guidance.

Disclaimer: This answer is provided for informational purposes only. This answer does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied on. Legal advice can only be provided after consultation with an attorney with experience in the area in which your concern lies. This is so because each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and/or documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship.

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