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Old 06-04-2017, 01:35 PM
208 posts, read 232,368 times
Reputation: 255


Some tips I've learned having to go thru Probate twice..which can vary by state..

There are 2 types of Probate
1) Summary for estates under $75,000.. this will get you a court order allowing the
accounts to be disbursed but will not name an Executor.
2) Formal administration will appoint an Executor or Personal Representative...

Always go with #2. With the Executor paper, you can request back statements, file
fraud claim, do anything the owner of account could have done.

Don't hire a lawyer who charges a percentage of the Estate.. The paperwork for him is
the same whether the Estate has $100 or a million.
I found a lawyer who does Probate for a flat $1600.

Don't notify creditors that the person is deceased. Don't write 'return to sender' on mail.
Just let the mail pile up until Probate is closed..Creditors only have 90 days to file a claim,
just wait it out.

One of the most frustrating thing for me was getting banks to freeze accounts immediately.. Some
like BOA and Chase have better policy in place than others like Wells Fargo.. Do whatever you need to do to get them frozen- contact executive office if you have to, or contact them
on social media. Average time to get a death certificate is 10 days but if the person died at home - it can take weeks or months, lots of fraud can happen by strangers or even family members will drain the account.

You are allowed to keep the Social Security payment for the month when death occurred - even if the
check comes after..

Of course, best scenario is all financial accounts have a POD (payable on death) beneficiary listed, and any real estate deeds are Lady Bird Life Estate deed, or joint tenants with right of survivorship and Probate not needed.... Keep in mind someone still should file deceased last tax return.

Last edited by seaduced; 06-04-2017 at 02:18 PM..
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Old 06-04-2017, 04:17 PM
Location: Arizona
5,578 posts, read 4,785,001 times
Reputation: 16486
In many places the probate judge decides on the attorney's fees so shopping around is pointless in those areas. They tell you that as soon as you call.
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