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Probate question?

Vallejo, CA |
Filed under: Estate planning

My mother passed away in Texas two years ago and I notified her bank immediately of her death. I tried to closeout her account and I was told that since my name wasn't on her account, that I will have to go through probate court. I feel like I will not be able to afford the fees and since I live in California, it is not easy for me to go back and forth to the probate court. A few months ago I received a letter from the bank stating that if the account is not made active by October of this year, that the money in her account will get turned over to the state of Texas. I already provided a copy of her death certificate which the bank has on file. Can I speak with a probate lawyer in my state and can't the forms needed for probate court get downloaded and mailed to the county clerk in TX?

Attorney Answers 4


  1. Best answer

    You should speak with a Texas attorney. The laws of each state are different. Since your mother passed in Texas, Texas law governs. That state may have a similar process as we have here for small estates, which is to provide an affidavit of small estate to confirm you are the successor and no probate is or will be pending for your mother's estate. Good Luck.

    The statements provided herein are meant for informational purposes only, and do not constitute legal advice. No attorney-client relationship is created by virtue of this response.


  2. You will have to file the matter in Texas, unfortunately. A CA attorney will only be able to help you if that attorney is also licensed in Texas.


  3. Most states have an abbreviated procedure that allows you to claim the funds through a relatively simple filing or an affidavit if you are the only heir and the estate is small. A TX attorney will have to help you with it though.

    THESE COMMENTS ARE NOT LEGAL ADVICE. They are provided for informational purposes only. Actual legal advice can only be provided after consultation by an attorney licensed in your jurisdiction. The answer to question does not create an attorney-client relationship or otherwise require further consultation. Mrs. Cook is licensed to practice law throughout the state of California with offices in San Diego County. She is authorized to handle IRS matters throughout the United States, and is also licensed to practice before the United States Tax Court. IRS CIRCULAR 230 DISCLOSURE: To ensure compliance with requirements imposed by the IRS, please be advised that any U.S. federal tax advice contained in this communication (including any attachments) is not intended or written to be used or relied upon, and cannot be used or relied upon, 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.


  4. I agree with colleagues. Most states do have abbreviated process for administering a small estate. Most banks will require court order to close account based on facts you provided. In your interest to act before funds turned over (escheat) to state. Consult Texas probate attorney.

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