Is probate necessary for all esates?

UPDATED: Jan 31, 2012

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Is probate necessary for all esates?

Sister #1 died intestate leaving a 13K debt and a 40K house. Siblings inherited a 1/3 interest in her house. Sister #2 died 4 months later with a Will leaving her 1/3 interest in the house to the remaining sibling. Does her Will have to be probated? Everything but this house interest is in the names of her son’s (1 of whom is the executor of her estate and the administrator of Sister #1’s estate). No debts, no property. A beneficiary check from Sister #1’s insurance arrived yesterday for Sister #2 (after her death). What do we do with it? Does it go into probate if the Will has to be probated? Or is it deposited?

Asked on January 31, 2012 under Estate Planning, Arkansas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your losses.  It is difficult to give advice in this forum with out being able to see all the paperwork involved.   First, was Sister #1's estate probated and the hosue transferred?  Who was it transferred to besides the two remaining siblings (you said 1/3 interest to two remaining; where is the other third?)?  How is the property held?  Tenants in Common?  Jopint Tenants?  Rights of survivorship?  I think that the estates need to be probated because you have not said anything about a transfer after the first sister died.  As for the insurance check to sister #2, was she the the named beneficiary of the policy?  Then it passes outside the Will and it is hers to keep.  Get some help.  Good luck.

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