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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 23839
Experience:  14 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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My mother died in November 2011. She had a legal California

Customer Question

My mother died in November 2011. She had a legal California will listing me as executor and the only inheritor but there was no estate. The document was a formality along with a Power of Attorney and Finance, etc. There was no need to file probate. Currently, there is a probate coming to conclusion involving a lost will of her mother, my grandmother, where if alive my mother would receive 25% of the proceeds from real property presently being sold. I submitted the required documentation of my mother's will to the probate attorney and court and I am listed as beneficiary in the proceedings.

The last document I received from the executor's attorney has now addressed me as Executor of my Mother's Estate. My question is; since there was no need or requirement, due to there not being any estate or assets, will the inheritance proceeds come directly to me or do I have to file a probate in my mother's name? I expect the inheritance to be somewhere in the $100K range. I tried asking the executor's attorney this question but they would not respond.

Thank You
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Barrister replied 1 year ago.
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
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since there was no need or requirement, due to there not being any estate or assets, will the inheritance proceeds come directly to me or do I have to file a probate in my mother's name?
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Unfortunately, there is no legal way to "leapfrog" mother's estate and have any proceeds transferred directly to you. Since mother's estate would be the legal beneficiary of grandmother's estate, you would have to open a probate case in mother's name so that you can open an estate bank account to receive any funds. The executor in grandmother's estate will only be able to make any check for proceeds payable to mother's estate with you as executor.
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So there would have to be an estate account opened for mother's estate so that those funds could be deposited into it and then disbursed from it to you as the sole heir. Tracking back, in order to be able to open an estate account at the bank to receive the funds from grandmother's estate, you would have to be formally appointed as executor of mother's estate by the probate court judge and present your order of appointment to the bank so that you can open the account.
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It would make it much simpler if you could bypass mother's estate entirely, but unfortunately the law doesn't work that way.
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I am sorry that I don’t have better news, but please understand that I do have an ethical and professional obligation to provide customers with legally correct answers, even when an answer is not favorable to the customer.

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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

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