Q: My grandmother died years ago. No probate because no assets. Now I find she had bonds. Can I open probate years later?
I am the only person in the will and are the named executor. She purposed omitted the only other grandchild because she stole from her. I have no idea how much these bonds are worth (I assume very little). The government requires that the funds from these bonds go to the executor of the estate. Do I have to open probate to become the executor? Will there be a problem because she died over 10 years ago.
A: There is no time limit in filing a probate case, so the ten year delay will not present a problem. However, depending on the value of the bonds a probate might not be required. I would speak with a lawyer, who may be able to assist you in avoiding probate. If you do not know where to find a lawyer, I suggest calling your local county bar association. Most of them operate a lawyer referral service which matches you with an attorney in the correct legal field. The attorney then provides a low cost or free consultation.
A: While you could open a probate action for the bonds, if they are less than $150,000, then you don't need to file a probate action. You can collect the bonds with an affidavit regarding small estate. Contact an attorney for a full consultation.
There isn't a problem that your grandmother died over ten years ago. However, to initiate probate proceedings in California, the total value of the real and personal assets must be over $150,000.00. If the total value of the bonds are less than $150,000.00, there are other options to collect these assets.
Contact an experienced probate attorney for a consultation.
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