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Merlo, Accountant
Category: Tax
Satisfied Customers: 9783
Experience:  25+ years tax consulting. Specializing in returns for US citizens living abroad
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My wife passed away leaving a home, car and investment funds.

Customer Question

My wife passed away leaving a home, car and investment funds. The Indiana home and car are in both our names and the I am the primary beneficiary of all her funds. I have no other probate issues, so do I need to open the probate process. Does someone need to be contacted and what paper work is necessary to offically close out probate.
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Tax
Expert:  Merlo replied 7 years ago.

Hello JA Customer,


As long as you are listed as a co-owner of an asset or you are listed as the beneficiary, then there is no need for you to go through any type of probate. Probate is only required where there are no co-owners or listed beneficiaries.


You simply need to contact the investment company where the funds are held and provide them with the necessary documentation (likely the death certificate) to have those funds transferred to an account directly now in your name. On the home and car, you would also provide the needed documentation to have the titles changed to your name only.



Thank you JA Customer



Customer: replied 7 years ago.

I need the details on opening and closing probate with no probate issues. The house, car and funds change ownership automaticly and out of the picture - the home and car ownership are transferred by law(showing the proper paperwork; DC, DEEDS, etc) while fund beneficiarys are done over your PC(all surviving ownership going to the spouses).










Expert:  Merlo replied 7 years ago.

Hello again JA,


If all of the assets have been transferred to your name, then there is nothing else you need to do concerning probate. Probate is not an issue in your case and nothings needs to be opened or filed. Probate is only used when it is not clear who inherits the assets or when someone needs to be appointed as a representative of the estate to help distribute the assets. This does not apply in your case.



Thank you JA



Customer: replied 7 years ago.

Who determines weather it is clear that I inherit the assets. Does a judge or a clerk not have to be involved to determine weather all the paperwork is in order(validation of a will, names and dates of fund account profile sheets varifing beneficiaries, etc. This is called the "probate process". I am wanting to know the proceedure and paperwork for a case like mine, where all the precussions have been taken to avoid probate.

Someone must be the gate keeper in determining who gets by without going through probate.

PS - I only recieved one answer prior to now.

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