My mother died in October 2014. She had no will. I need to become administrator to collect insurance
money to pay funeral expenses. No one else in the family will contest this decision.
I am sorry for your loss. There are many pitfalls that can happen in an administration (including properly determining which debts must be paid). Additionally, it is rare for insurance to be payable to the estate. At a minimum, consult with a lawyer so you do not make any missteps. In the situation is straightfoward and family cooperates you can hold down legal fees to a small amount by doing some legwork and using a lawyer largely as your coach.
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You can, but do so with your eyes wide open--I suggest a consult with a local estate attorney so you know exactly what you are getting into. Fortunately for you, the Bibb County probate court is a good, helpful court.
I am sorry to hear about your loss. You have the right to represent yourself in the probate case. However, it would be easy to make mistakes that could end up costing you more than if you had hired an attorney.
My first question would be - why is probate needed just to collect life insurance? usually life insurance is payable to a named beneficiary, so probate is not required. Of course, it is possible that your mother never named a beneficiary or that she named her estate as the beneficiary, but both situations are unusual. So, you need to be really sure that probate is necessary before you start that process in court.
You do not mention what else your mother owned, but of course you need to thoroughly review all assets and how they were titled, such as real estate, bank accounts, stocks, bonds, mutual funds, retirement accounts, annuities, etc. to be sure who receives them, how they pass at death, and whether probate is necessary in order to transfer these assets after the death of your mother. In order to understand all of this, you should meet with an experienced probate attorney, at least for a consultation, to understand how the law works in this area. Best of luck to you in working through all of this.
Posting of this answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. This posting is intended to provide general information only, and not to provide any specific legal advice. You should not rely on any information in this posting without seeking the advice of an attorney, who can address your specific legal situation.
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