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Superior Court of California - County of San Diego: Probate: Probate FAQ: Summary Proceedings FAQ
    

Summary Proceedings Frequently Asked Questions

  1. The bank told me I need Letters of Administration. There is no will and I think the account is under $150,000.  What do I do?
  2. What if the decedent's real property is worth $50,000 or less?
  3. Does all property have to go through probate?
  4. When can a Spousal or Domestic Partner Property Petition be filed?


1. The bank told me I need Letters of Administration. There is no will and I think the account is under $150,000. What do I do?

You could complete an Affidavit (or Declaration) for Collection or Transfer of Personal Property under (Prob. Code §13100). This is not a court procedure. It must be at least 40 days since the date of death. This cannot be used to transfer real property (land or buildings). All persons entitled to receive assets must sign the affidavit and the signatures must be notarized. For more information, see (Prob. Code §13100).

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2. What if the decedent's real property is worth $50,000 or less?

You can complete an Affidavit re Real Property of Small Value. The affidavit may be filed six months after death in the county of residence. If the decedent was a non-resident of California, the affidavit may be filed in the county where the property is located. This is filed with the court; however, there is no hearing set.

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3. Does all property have to go through probate?

No. If the gross value of the estate is under $100,000, you could file a Petition to Determine Succession to Real Property. This petition is filed 40 days after date of death by all persons who succeed to the property (are entitled to inherit) in the county of residence or where the property is located. These types of matters are set for hearing.

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4. When can a Spousal or Domestic Partner Property Petition be filed?

The petitioner must be either the surviving spouse (of a legal marriage) or the registered domestic partner of the decedent. If the spouse or registered domestic partner has also died, then his or her legally appointed personal representative may file. There is no limit to the value of the estate to use this type of petition; however, all property covered in the petition must be given outright to the surviving spouse or partner (either by will or intestate inheritance) and not to any other beneficiaries or a trust.

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