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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 34760
Experience:  16 yrs practice, Civil, Criminal, Domestic, Realtor, Landlord 26 yrs
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I had my best friend of 35 years unexpectedly pass away with

Customer Question

I had my best friend of 35 years unexpectedly pass away with me and my family on a cruise last month. He has two estranged sisters who wanted nothing to do with his belongings or funeral arrangements; We have found his will which was witnessed with signatures while cleaning out his apt. We had his memorial last week and accrued all of the expenses for a beautiful tribute. More than 100 attendees. We paid over $1200 to get him cremated at the port he died (Key West) and had his remains shipped to us in California. We additionally paid $110 to get his suitcase and belongings from the cruise ship shipped back to us as well--most importantly we were looking for his wallet and cellphone which never showed up.
My husband and I are listed as beneficiaries of his small estate--worth less than $50,000 as estimated. My son who is 14 has been named to get everything that Tim owned as per his wishes in his will. My question is about what type of paperwork do I need to file in order to get ahold of his $3500.00 which is left in his Well Fargo acct. I know there are times when a judge allows money to be withdrawn from a deceased bank act. to help offset costs of the funeral etc. My friend also is 70% owner of a summer lake home that he shared with my sons father--the 30% owner. How do I go about getting the title transferred into my sons name for his 70% as Tim wanted? I know the lakehouse has been appraised at 57000 so his portion was under 40000. We all want to keep the lakehouse and fix it up for me son to enjoy as he grows up so there is no sale in the future. Can you steer me in the right direction on how to proceed. Probate? Not my specialty? Do I need to hire a lawyer to assist me?
Submitted: 5 months ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.

Hello and welcome! My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed attorney who will try my best to help with your situation or get you to someone who can.

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Great Thank you
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.

The problem here is that even though this is a small enough estate to be under the limit for a small estate affidavit, it includes an interest in real estate so that prevents the affidavit from being used.

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So you would have to file a formal probate case in the probate court in the county where he lived in order for the executor nominated in the will to be formally appointed. The executor would then gather all assets, pay any debts, including reimbursing you for any funeral and burial related expenses, and then can distribute the remaining assets to the named beneficiaries of the will. The real estate would be transferred via a deed from the estate signed by the executor over to son if he was the beneficiary in care of you as his legal guardian until he turns 18.

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It isn't very hard to handle a probate case without an attorney, but they can facilitate things and make them go much more smoothly. The court will normally have a guide that sets out the specific duties and timeframes for things to be done so it depends on whether the executor wants to tackle this job solo or with an attorney assisting..

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Is there a standard form I can fill out online to get the probate case started?
Customer: replied 5 months ago.
How much approximately do you estimate hiring a probate attorney in Marin County, California??
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.

You can download the forms, but you have to file them in person at the probate court because you have to swear or affirm that the information is true to the best of your knowledge. You also have to pay any filing fees and submit the will along with the petition..

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This is a link to the CA Court Form site: CA Probate Forms

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As for fees, they are capped by law and are 4% of the first $100K of gross value of the probated estate and go down after the first $100K in value.

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thanks

Barrister

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Thank you so much You were very helpful. How do I pay you for your advice???
Expert:  Barrister replied 5 months ago.

You are very welcome. Happy to help any time.

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There should be a scale with smiley faces, or stars or numbers or something that you click on to rate my service.. I am not exactly sure what you see on your screen.

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It was my pleasure to work with you and help with your question. If you ever need me in the future, you can post a new question with "For Barrister" in the caption and the JustAnswer employees will get it to me.

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Barrister