The Surrogate's Court will issue letters of administration for small estates up to $30,000, provided there are no lawsuits or real property involved. You would need to go to the Surrogate's court in the county where your parent resided. The administration clerk can help you with forms and instructions.
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When you bring a voluntary administration (small estate proceeding) you receive certificates which designate each asset to be collected. On the petition you would indicate IRS refund not to exceed $____ and the other individual assets and their approximate value. The clerk will usually be quite helpful.