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Small Estate Affidavit or Letter of Testamentary

Lakewood, WA |

Uncle died, sister appointed personal rep; I'm appointed as secondary if she is unable or unwilling. Uncle was on Medicaid, has < $2k in bank a/c, which is joint a/c with myself & sister. He has no other assets. Funds will be coming payable to estate from VA (burial benefits) & funeral home (balance of irrevocable trust to be used per his wishes for Wake/funeral expenses). We would prefer not to have to pay for these expenses out of pocket and use the funds from funeral home & va directly. What is best way for us to proceed? Any help at all would be greatly appreciated. Thank you

Attorney Answers 3

  1. Call the trustee of the irrevocable trust and see how fast they can be sent, perhaps wired. Have you been to court on the small state and what was the result. You may want to spend a few dollars and consult with a probate attorney for 30 minutes-that would be invaluable.

  2. Neither the joint bank accounts nor the irrevocable trust are probate assets. The trustee is free to disburse the funds to you without court approval.

  3. A small estate affidavit might be the way to go. However, if your uncle owned his home, this might not be possible as the upper limit for small estates is $100,000. If he owned his home, probate will be necessary.

    This posting is for informational purposes only. It is not legal advice, nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. For more information, please visit

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