Huntington Beach, CA asked in Probate for California

Q: My mom died and resided in California. She has an account in Ohio I need to close. Total assets 25,000. Probate?

California does not require probate but Ohio does. I'm in California and not sure how to proceed to close her account.

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4 Lawyer Answers
Bill Sweeney
Bill Sweeney
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • San Juan Capistrano, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You might contact the account holder or an attorney in Ohio. They/he/she may have an answer for you.

John B. Palley
John B. Palley
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Roseville, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: I would start with a California small estate affidavit. That is technically the correct thing to do and most banks (regardless of what state they are in) will honor that. Just google "California small estate affidavit form" and you'll find a free form to use. If the bank rejects that (and some do) then you'll need to resort to Ohio laws and they probably have a similar small estate procedure and almost certainly $25k will be a small estate there though I don't know their laws so that is a guess. Good luck! -John

James Edward Berge agrees with this answer

James Edward Berge
James Edward Berge
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • San Jose, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: It’s not the law of the state where the account is located that matters. It’s the law of the state where your mom resided at the time of her death. She resided in California at the time of her death, so California law governs this situation. As John suggests, you should be able to collect the account using a small estate affidavit procedure under Calif Probate Code section 13100 with the need for a formal probate. Forms are readily available on the internet. Good luck!

Bruce Adrian Last
Bruce Adrian Last
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Pleasant Hill, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: As others suggest, personal property (that is anything other then real property) is subject to the laws of the State where the decedent died. Thus, the Ohio bank should honer an affidavit under California Probate Code s. 13100. (https://saclaw.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/form-affidavit-for-collection-of-personal-property.pdf)

Sometimes, a small, local bank (one that does not have branches in California) is unfamiliar with the process. Generally, a letter and phone call from an attorney will clear this up. (About 1-2 hours of attorney time.)

Best of luck.

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