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My dad had a life insurance policy on my mother who recently died. She didnt have a will and insurance check made out to estate

Houston, TX |

My Dad and Mom divorced many years ago. She had no assets, with the exception of a check for $35 made out to her from a bank after her death. What do I have to do in order for my Dad to be able to cash the insurance check. The check is for $10,000 Also how can I cash the $35 check. There are living children and there is an original death certificate.

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Attorney answers 3


Small estate affidavit. The form is on Harris county clerks website

Eric Dick, LL.M.; Office: 832-207-2007; Cell: 713-498-7969; Email:; website: LEGAL DISCLAIMER: Mr. Dick is licensed to practice law in Texas and his office located in Harris County. Mr. Dick primarily practices insurance law in Texas and offers free consultations. Mr. Dick is ethically required to state that the response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney client relationship. These responses are only in the form of legal education and are intended to only provide general information about the matter within the question. Often times the question does not include significant and important facts and timelines that if known could significantly change the reply or make such reply unsuitable. Mr. Dick strongly advises the questioner to confer with an attorney in his or her state in order to ensure proper advice is received. By using this site you understand and agree that there is no attorney client relationship or confidentiality between you and the attorney responding. This site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction, who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances and with whom you have an attorney client relationship. The law changes frequently and varies from jurisdiction to jurisdiction. The information and materials provided are general in nature, and may not apply to a specific factual or legal circumstance described in the question or omitted from the question. Circular 230 Disclaimer - Any information in this comment may not be used to eliminate or reduce penalties by the IRS or any other governmental agency.


Based upon what you have stated and what I know of Texas law, the small estate affidavit option would appear to be an option. There is very good information from Travis County at As you can see there are potential traps for the unwary. I recommend you work with experienced TX legal counsel for best results. Best of luck to you.

The foregoing is a general answer based upon limited information, should not be construed as legal advice , and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is the opinion of the writer alone. The author is licensed in Indiana and Ohio attorney only.


I agree with Messrs. Dick and Schemmel, but I second Mr. Schemmel's warning: Compared to many states, Texas has a lot of flexibility in small estate administration without going through full probate. But one almost needs a lawyer just to confirm that one can proceed with relative safety without a lawyer. With $10k at stake, it might be worth your while to consult a qualified trusts & estates lawyer --'s a good resource for finding one in Houston -- if only to answer the additional questions he'd ask to confirm that you probably don't need him. (I don't even know all those questions, but you might be able to find someone who'd cover them in a free initial consultation.)