Riverside, CA asked in Estate Planning for California

Q: I am both the executor and beneficiary of a will in CA. Small estate <$10,000. Need to empty apt of personal items.

Can I donate his stuff to avoid having to store it. What do I need to do in order to access his bank account? Can I sell his vehicle?

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1 Lawyer Answer
Julie King
Julie King
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Monterey, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: The answer depends on how many beneficiaries there are, how much debt the deceased had (such as a loan on the car you want to sell), and if there is a matter currently pending in probate court. If there is a matter in probate court, then you cannot use the Small Estate Affidavit process. If there is no pending probate court matter, you must wait at least forty (40) days from the date of death before you can use the Small Estate Affidavit process. You must sign the Affidavit and, if there are other people entitled to inherit the property, they must also sign the Affidavit. Get all signatures notarized because many banks and other institutions require notarized signatures. Some banks even require you to use their form of Affidavit. I hope that helps to get you started. Best wishes.

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