If my mother died without a Will and left an estate of $15,000, do I need to go through probate?

UPDATED: Jan 4, 2012

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If my mother died without a Will and left an estate of $15,000, do I need to go through probate?

I am her only living child.

Asked on January 4, 2012 under Estate Planning, Wisconsin


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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. What makes up the $15,000?  Is it a bank account?  Are you also listed on the account (i.e., is it a joint account)?   If it is jointly held then you probably have to do nothing at all.  However, if it is held in her name only then you will need authority from the court to be able to withdraw the money.  Every state has a small estate administration proceeding that permits you to be appointed as the fiduciary of the estate to allow you to withdraw the funds.  Some states permit just an affidavit.  eing an only child you may need to prepare an affidavit of heirship as well, which is generally done by some one close in relationship to explain that there are no other children.  The Probate court clerk should be able to give you the forms you need,  Good luck. 

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