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.
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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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: http://www.californiaprobatelawyerblog.com/2008/03/avoid_probate_in_california_1.html
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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Elder Law Attorney
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
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