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What to do with remaining assets. Probate ended 12 years ago.

Cupertino, CA |

There are less than $2,500 of assets remaining my mother's name. Probate ended 12 years ago and unfortunately, there were a couple of assets that didn't make it into probate that were in her name. Do we need to open probate again? Is it worth it? What are some options to divest the funds?

Thanks for your answers and questions. There are some stocks that are only a few shares, so they are worth less than $500 and some money in a bank account where I am a co-administrator. I was told I can't distribute the monies unless I have the right paperwork. So I am trying to figure how to distribute these remaining assets.

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Attorney answers 4


If the order for final distribution contained a clause that says something to the effect of "any after-discovered property shall be distributed to the beneficiaries in the same proportions as stated herein", then you should be able to show the bank a certified copy of the order and have them distribute the assets to you.

You might also be able to use a small estate affidavit.

Given that the filing fees and publication fees to reinitiate a probate would be well over $600, it probably would not be cost effective to re-open the probate.

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I found the clause you mentioned! We didn't need it when probate closed, but thank goodness it is in the document. We may finally put the last bits to rest. Thanks so much!


Under California Probate Code Section 13100, you should be able to get at those funds without opening a probate. Click on this link which may be helpful:



thank you for taking the time to respond. I will keep the link handy. Didn't quite see what I needed for this particular instance.


Agree with attorney Port, but I'm wondering what type of assets are we talking about? Money? Stocks? A bicycle? The nature of the assets will, in part, determine the options available.

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Great questions. I added additional information above.


You should be able to administer the remainder of the estate through a Small Estate Affidavit. Once you get it approved by the Court, there shouldn't be a problem getting compliance from the financial institutions. Also, I would look at the final probate notes, as there may be some instructions as to what to do in the event of assets left out of the estate during the probate administration

I am an attorney, but not your attorney. I hope you use this information for its intended educational purpose. Any and all answer provided should be checked with a local attorney

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