Is there some way to avoid probate?

UPDATED: Jul 17, 2012

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Is there some way to avoid probate?

My mother died last year and she owned her home with no debt. She only had 2 children – my brother and I. The home is worth 33,000 and we both agree 50/50 with the estate. Is there anything we can do so that we don’t have to go to probate? We are both on SSI and really can’t afford to pay attorneys fees, court costs, plus filing fees. Can someone please help me out on what to do?

Asked on July 17, 2012 under Estate Planning, Florida


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to look at the deed to the property that you have written about to see if title was in your mother's name as well as yurs and your brother's in joint tenancy with the right of survivorship. If so, then you do not need a probate to transfer title. You need an affidavit of surviving joint tenant and a certified copy of the mother's death certificate attached to the affidavit dated, signed and recorded with your county recorder's office.

Since you do not have the money to take care of a probate even though by statute fees for an attorney are based upon a contingency per size of the estate, you should contact your local legal aid office for help or your county bar association to see if there is a program in place to assist someone such as you with your situation.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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