Sorry about your Mom.
Yes-you can do nothing and walk away.
It does not appear to be worth the cost and effort
to start a probate process.
The answer given does not imply that an attorney-client relationship has been established and your best course of action is to have legal representation in this matter.
I agree with Attorney Pippen. You are under no obligation to act as executor. This sounds like an estate that you may not want to mess with. I do have a suggestion, before you decide to totally give up on this, however. I would at least speak with an attorney in your mother's state of residence. The initial conference is normally free. Many states have allowances and exemptions for small estates like this that take precedence over creditor claims. In Michigan, as much as $50k or more can be sheltered in this way. If you do not need to deal with creditors, there may be enough money involved to make it worth your while.
***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!
My colleagues are absolutely correct. There is no law in Nevada that requires you to open a probate. Often, circumstances are such that the only decision is to walk away. I am sorry for your loss.
Administration and Settlement. Probate is one of the ways to pass ownership of estate property to a decedent’s survivors. This is the legal process by which a court validates a decedent’s will and supervises the administration of the estate. The probate estate is the portion of the estate that must go through the probate process before it can be transferred. Certain estate interests, such as living trusts, life insurance policy proceeds not payable to the estate, payable upon death accounts, and property held jointly with rights of survivorship are generally not included in the probate estate.
Probating an estate requires the appointment of a personal representative to administer the estate. The representative may be called the executor, administrator, or personal representative of the estate if appointed as such in a decedent’s will. If a decedent does not have a valid will (dies intestate), or does not name a personal representative in his or her will, the court will appoint someone to administer the estate, also called an administrator. The court will issue “letters testamentary” or “letters of administration” granting the personal representative authority to administer the estate.
Until it receives authority from the probate court, the personal representative has no power to dispose of any part of the estate, except to pay reasonable funeral expenses or to take such action as it deems necessary to preserve estate property. Pending formal authorization by the court, the personal representative may take appropriate action to handle family issues and protect estate property.
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