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Hello, I have a...

Hello, I have a difficult situation and am trying to find the best strategy. My aunt, a Los Angeles resident, passed away in Sept '17. I was notified by mail around Oct 26, '17. She rented an apt and lived on SSI. During that time I called LA County and they assisted me with my aunt's matters such as establishing her identification and closing out her case. I was informed that my aunt had a bank account. It's very likely that my mom was beneficiary since that's how my aunt was. I flew out to CA from FL to make her final arrangements around Dec. 7th. Well, Jan 15, '18, my mom had an accident suddenly and passed. I don't know what to do. We live in FL which makes this all the more challenging. As daughter of my mom, do I have any position in getting information from the banks as heir of a beneficiary if such a role exists? Will the case have to go through probate as a result of mom's passing? Is there a time frame for this to be finalized? I understand that this will go to mom's estate if there is anything in her name, right?

Lawyer's Assistant: Since estate law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

My aunt passed in California.

Lawyer's Assistant: What documents or supporting evidence do you have?

I have her death certificate.

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

No. Are these questions posted publicly?

Submitted: 4 months ago.Category: Estate Law
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Answered in 1 minute by:
3/16/2018
Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago
Legal Eagle
Legal Eagle, Lawyer
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 13,288
Experience: Licensed to practice before state and federal court
Verified

Hello! I am a licensed attorney, admitted to practice in state and federal court. I have a nearly 100% satisfaction rating (click here for more info) so all that means is that you can count on me to help today. Because I want to provide you with the most accurate answer possible, do you mind if I take a moment to review your question?

Please keep in mind that our conversation does not include an attorney-client relationship and this is for general information purposes only.

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Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 4 months ago

I'm very sorry to hear about your situation. If a person does not have a will, then the state is going to go through what's called the "intestacy statutes." This means that the state has a scheme to distribute the property of people who didn't have a will at the time of their death. The law requires that you or some other personal representative notify the court of your mother's death and you can get the court's approval to start distributing her property.

Some property doesn't need the blessing of the court in advance. These are things like life insurance policies, joint bank accounts, or other property that was held jointly and was agreed to pass to another person upon someone's death. If that is the case, then the court doesn't need to be included.

If you are the beneficiary of any of her insurance policies or bank accounts, then you need to go to those institutions directly. You should provide them with your identification and proof of your mother's death as well.

I'm so very sorry that you're having to deal with this and I wish you the best.

Did you have any other questions for me today that I could help you with?

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Customer reply replied 4 months ago
my question is first about my aunt's matter since her death happened first.My aunt died Sept '17 in Los Angeles, CA. I was notified by mail around Oct 26, '17. My aunt had no real estate. She had a small bank account and no life insurance that I know of. Jan 15, '18, my mom had an accident suddenly and passed. My aunt likely left my mom as beneficiary. I don't think she would've listed me as beneficiary, but I don't know. We, however, don't have record of any of the bank accounts or insurance policies for my aunt. We live in Florida. As daughter of my mom, do I have any position in getting information from the banks as heir of a beneficiary to my aunt's account if my mom was listed as beneficiary? Is being heir to a beneficiary a role that is even recognized? Is there a way to go through a fast probate process in California should we have to go that route and since her estate, from what we know, is likely very small? Is there a time frame for this to be finalized for my aunt's matter?
Estate Lawyer: Legal Eagle, Lawyer replied 3 months ago

Hi, because of the nuance of this situation, would you be okay with a phone call to discuss? This will help you and I answer these questions more concretely.

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DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

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