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Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 102584
Experience:  Fully licensed attorney in Texas in private practice.
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I received a notice of petition to administer estate, I live

Customer Question

I received a notice of petition to administer estate
JA: Estate laws vary by state. What state are you in?
Customer: I live in California my son passed away in Washington state
JA: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?
Customer: his birth certificate, I am trying to determine what you mean by supporting evidence
JA: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?
Customer: his mother and I are divorced, he passed away at the age of 32 from an auto accident, the life insurance proceeds went to his mother and now the insurance proceeds are to be distributed
Submitted: 1 month ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Ely replied 1 month ago.

Hello and welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: This is general information for educational purposes only and is not legal advice. No specific course of action is proposed herein, and no attorney-client relationship or privilege is formed by speaking to an expert on this site. You may also be offered a phone call, but those don’t come from me and are offered by the website and you are under no obligation to accept.

I am sorry to hear about this situation. What are you asking here, i.e. what do you need to know?

Customer: replied 1 month ago.
I received a Notice of Petition to Administer Estate, it was filed by my oldest son requesting this,
I have a hearing scheduled for Sep 14, 2017, should I response to it or let me oldest son get his request,
I don't agree because I will not have any control over his estate
what can I do
Expert:  Ely replied 1 month ago.

When someone passes away, then their estate has to be distributed. The problem is that without probate - with assets such as titled property or bank accounts (those that do not have a pay on death clause) - this is hard to do. This is because you cannot switch over the assets without an order from the probate court, and simply a Certificate of Death will not do. A Certificate of Death simply states that someone has passed on, but does not give you the right to really do anything in the deceased's name.

So one files probate. Once probate is filed, the Executor of the estate gets something called a Letter of Testament/Administration (hereinafter "Letter"). This Letter will allow the Executor to switch over the assets from the deceased individual to whoever will own the property. It is like a "Power of Attorney," but from the Court. Without that Letter, there is no way to transfer titled property and switch the assets into the names of the beneficiaries.

This is what is happening here. It seems he is opening probate, and may be asking to be named Executor. If someone in your position HAS NO INTEREST in this matter and is not named as a beneficiary, then there is nothing to do at all - simply not reply. You are simply being noticed as a possible beneficiary party.

If you feel you may be a beneficiary, reply and let me know, and we can talk about your options.

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