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LegalGems
LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 8032
Experience:  Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
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my sister passed in Fresno on 2/26/13 and I am the oldest brother.

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my sister passed in Fresno on 2/26/13 and I am the oldest brother. She has a son,45,who always lived with her and did not work. She advised me that her 3 brothers were beneficieries on either her Cds at Wells Fargo Bank in Fresno or her 401K at Fidality Investments. I have contacted Fidality w/death certifcate,SS number and letter and also Wells Fargo with her death certifciate,SS number. The banks legal dept. states that I need to go to probate court to receives a list of Judi's assets and i have no cooperation from Fidality Investmets re. her 401K. I cannot afford to pay a lawyer as I am 71,retired and on a pension with no savings. What is my next step in regard to this situation? Thank you../Roy Reitz

LegalGems :

Hi; My goal is to provide you with great service - if you have any questions during our chat, please ask! I'll do my best to ensure your satisfaction!

LegalGems :

I am sorry to hear of your loss. This is a difficult time. One moment please as I review the rest of your question.

LegalGems :

If the brothers were listed as beneficiaries on the account (i.e. a pay on death account), then this property would pass outside of probate, as a matter of law, and would not require anything other than the death certificate. The named beneficiary would automatically be entitled to the property.

LegalGems :

For the 401K, this would go to her named beneficiary, and also pass outside of probate, unless the named beneficiary pre-deceased her.

LegalGems :

One moment please.

LegalGems :

If your sister had a small estate, then there is a simplified procedure. I'll get that information for you.

LegalGems :

If she left less than $150K, then please see the third item down http://www.courts.ca.gov/8865.htm "If the person who died left $150,000 or less". It will instruct you exactly what to do. However, again, if the bank accounts and 401K have beneficiaries listed on the document itself, it passes outside of probate. You may need to have an attorney contact the bank on the beneficiaries' behalf and explain this to their legal dept.

LegalGems :

Did you have any questions on the above?

LegalGems :

It appears that you have entered the chat, but haven't posted anything. Should you have further questions, please post them so I can respond. Thank you!

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