How to probate a small bank account
When the value of the probate estate is less than the cost of the funeral and burial, you can probate a bank account without an attorney using an administration unnecessary. The probate clerks will give you the forms and help you through the process.
Daniel: Just a quick question. My father just passed away, trying to get everything situated. He didn't have a will. I wasn't sure if hiring an attorney would be the right way to go or trying not to do probate. I am not sure exactly what to do here-
Attorney Tom Olsen: Well, Daniel-
Daniel: He did not have much-
Attorney Tom Olsen: What did he have, Daniel?
Daniel: He really did not have much, he lived on social security.
Attorney Tom Olsen: Did he have a home?
Daniel: He did not – no.
Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay. Now, on his bank accounts, were those bank accounts owned jointly with you or one of his kids?
Attorney Tom Olsen: Were those bank accounts POD - Payable on Death to you or one of the kids?
Attorney Tom Olsen: How much money did he have in the bank, Daniel?
Daniel: May be $2,000.
Attorney Tom Olsen: Okay. So, Daniel, if that account really was in his name only, it will require probate process, Daniel. The good news is that there is one type of probate where the clerks will actually give you the forms and help you through the process, is called an Administration Unnecessary. Daniel, it is available to you when the value of the estate - $2,000, is less than what his funeral expenses were. Assuming that his funeral expenses exceeding $2,000, Daniel, you will qualify for this Administration Unnecessary, where the clerks will give you the form and help you through it.