Since there is no will, will all assets (accounts) go to probate? 21 Answers as of December 02, 2013

My uncle recently passed away and we have not located a will. We have found two bank accounts in his name. There is no real property involved. If he listed one of his brothers on a bank account and that brother is deceased, would the funds in that account be distributed to my uncle's remaining siblings or to his brother's heirs?

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Law Ofices of Edwin K. Niles | Edwin K. Niles
Uncle's siblings if they are the closest kin.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 12/2/2013
Stephens Gourley & Bywater | David A. Stephens
They will pass by the laws of intestate succession. You may need a probate to make that happen.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 11/25/2013
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C.
Minor, Bandonis and Haggerty, P.C. | Brian Haggerty
If all you have is two bank accounts, then you might be able to do this with a Small Estate Affidavit. If the amount is too large, then, yes, it will go to probate (technically, "probate" is for a will; "administration" is for an intestate estate. Same process.) If his brother who was a joint owner died before your uncle, then your uncle owns all the bank account and it's all in his estate. If your uncle died first, and his brother who was joint on the account second, then brother owned the whole account and it's in his estate.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 11/25/2013
Irsfeld, Irsfeld & Younger LLP | Norman H. Green
The account for the brother does not go to the brother's heirs. Everything will go through probate to the decedent's heirs. If he has no living parents or issue, then one share will go to each surviving sibling and one share to the issue of each pre-deceased sibling.
Answer Applies to: California
Replied: 11/25/2013
Frederick & Frederick PLC | James P Frederick
Probate is needed if there were no joint account holders or beneficiaries named on that account. In the absence of a Will, state law decides who gets the account proceeds. Your uncle's assets would pass to his heirs, under these facts.
Answer Applies to: Michigan
Replied: 11/21/2013
    Law Office of Nathan Wagner
    Law Office of Nathan Wagner | Nathan J. Wagner
    If your uncle died before your father, the bank account should go to your father's heirs. Depending on how much money is in these bank accounts, you may be able to use a small estate affidavit to transfer the accounts to your father's heirs, rather than filing a full blown probate proceeding. Currently in California, to use a small estate affidavit, the total probate assets must be less than $150,000.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/21/2013
    Peters Law, PLLC
    Peters Law, PLLC | Mark T. Peters, Sr.
    The proceeds should probably go to the heirs of the brother that died last, if the account was a pay on death account or a joint account.
    Answer Applies to: Idaho
    Replied: 11/21/2013
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C.
    James T. Weiner & Associates, P.C. | James T. Weiner
    The bank accounts all go through probate unless there is a beneficiary listed as POD (payable on death) which sets up a bank trust. Then it goes direct Generally if unless the POD beneficiary survive and it does not say or their heirs it reverts to a regular account and goes through probate. By the way, even with a will the assets would have to go through probate. Generally a funded trust is the mechanism that keeps assets from going through probate.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/21/2013
    Law Office Of Victor Waid
    Law Office Of Victor Waid | Victor Waid
    Yes as to the first question, as to the second question then the funds would go to probate also, to determine who the rightful heirs are.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/21/2013
    Richard J. Keyes Attorney at Law | Richard J. Keyes
    In Missouri, the bank accounts have to go through probate if there is no beneficiary designation on the account which is known as "payable on death." If the two accounts total less than $40,000, then you can do a small estate in Missouri which is a simplified procedure. If he had listed a brother on the account and made it a joint account, since the brother died first, the ownership of the account goes to the survivor which would be the uncle.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 11/21/2013
    Attorney At Law | James G. Maguire
    His assets would go to his siblings, assuming that he did not have any children. If any siblings predeceased him, the heirs of that sibling would receive the deceased sibling's share. Usually, matters like this can be handled without probate. There are just some documents that need to be prepared and signed by the heirs.
    Answer Applies to: Louisiana
    Replied: 11/21/2013
    Law Offices of R. Christine Brown | R. Christine Brown
    Bank accounts belong to the heirs of brother who died last but only the money remaining after that uncle's debts have been paid.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/21/2013
    James Law Group
    James Law Group | Christine James
    If the total value of the estate is less than $150,000 a small estate affidavit with a death certificate will transfer the accounts to the rightful owner(s). If your uncle survived his brother who was named on the account, the uncle's legal heirs are entitled to the proceeds. If the brother survived the uncle, the brother's children would get the proceeds.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/21/2013
    Gates' Law, PLLC | Thomas E. Gates
    When one dies intestate (having no will), there are specific statutes that address this case. If there is no spouse, the estate goes to his children in equal shares. If there are no children, the estate would go to his parents. If no parents are alive, then to his siblings. While his brother was on the bank account, when he died, everything in the account went to the surviving brother.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 11/21/2013
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons
    Law Office of Patricia A. Simmons | Patrica A Simmons
    If the accounts total over $150,000.00, then a formal probate process will need to be initiated. If the total is less than $150,000.00, the funds may be distributed by way of a Small Estate Affidavit. Did the uncle have any children, if so they are the heirs of your uncle's estate. You will need to determine if the brother that was added on to the account, was added on as a convenience or was he a co-owner of the account. Discuss the process and procedures with a probate attorney.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/21/2013
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C.
    Kokish & Goldmanis, P.C. | Bernard H. Greenberg
    In Colorado, it may be possible to transfer the bank accounts using an Affidavit of Collection. Whether the estate must be probated depends on the value of the accounts when added together. It is possible that one or more of the banks will not accept anything other than Letters of Administration which are issued by the Court when an estate without a Will files for probate. For more information, contact an attorney specializing in estate administration.
    Answer Applies to: Colorado
    Replied: 11/21/2013
    Law Office of Pamela Braynon | Pamela Y. Braynon
    All the assets would have to go to probate so that they can be accessed. If your uncle did not have a spouse or any children, and if the brother listed was a beneficiary to the account, and that uncle had a spouse and/or children , the funds would be distributed to the brother's heirs.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 11/21/2013
    WFB Legal Consulting, Inc.
    WFB Legal Consulting, Inc. | William F. Bernard
    Starting in 2012, estates of decedents that do not exceed $150,000 do not need to be probated in California. In some cases, the total estate may be considerably larger than $150,000, but the small estate law can still be used. The reason is that many assets are not defined as probate assets, such as life insurance (unless it was payable to the estate), IRAs, 401Ks, assets held by a living trust, and joint tenancy assets. The $150,000 amount is calculated by totaling all of the probate assets owned by the decedent. An affidavit or declaration signed under penalty of perjury at least 40 days after the death can be used to collect the assets for the beneficiaries or heirs of the estate. No documents are required to be filed with the Superior Court if the small estates law (California Probate Code Sections 13100 to 13116) is used. Bank accounts, brokerage accounts, stock, bonds, mutual funds, other investments, real property valued at up to $50,000, and similar assets that the decedent owned in his or her name are included. The following are not included: 1. Joint tenancy assets. 2. Trust assets. 3. IRAs, 401K accounts, and similar pension accounts. 4. Life insurance. 5. Death benefits. 6. Registered vehicles. 7. Pay from service with the armed forces. 8. Salary from any source not paid before date of death up to $15,000. 9. Pay on death (POD) accounts. 10 Accounts with a named beneficiary.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 11/21/2013
    Sebby Law Office
    Sebby Law Office | Jayne Sebby
    If the is no one else's name on the bank accounts as joint owner and your uncle died without a will, then state intestacy statutes will determine who inherits the funds.
    Answer Applies to: Nebraska
    Replied: 11/21/2013
    Goldsmith & Guymon
    Goldsmith & Guymon | Dara Goldsmith
    Assuming the brother predeceased him, it will need to go into probate. Schedule a consultation with a probate attorney where your brother lived.
    Answer Applies to: Nevada
    Replied: 11/21/2013
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC
    Musilli Brennan Associates PLLC | John F Brennan
    It would appear that all of his accounts and assets will have to be taken to the probate court where a probate estate will be opened and thereafter distributed.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 11/21/2013
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