Santa Rosa, CA asked in Estate Planning and Elder Law for California

Q: I'll try again. Small, I mean small estate. No family, friends to help me out. I'm alone. I need assistance for closing.

Will a ProBono Attorney, close my Estate after I pass. My total assets are under $14,000.00 year.

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Sally Bergman
Sally Bergman
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • San Mateo, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You need to take at least some minimum steps to make sure no estate administration is required. For every bank account, make sure you have designated a pay-on-death beneficiary and make sure that person knows they are the beneficiary. Following your death, that person can bring in a copy of your death certificate to the bank to receive the funds. If you don't name anyone, or if the person who you want to receive the money doesn't know about it, what will happen is the bank will by law simply hold the funds for a period of three years, and then they will turn it over to the unclaimed funds division of the State of CA. That bank will not lift a finger to notify the beneficiary.

You can write a simple will that would allow a beneficiary to take possession of items such as vehicles.

If you don't have an individual you want to designate as a beneficiary, you can always name a charity. Again, please let them know you have done that.

You should absolutely have an advance health care directive that specifies your choices for burial or cremation. Preferably you can prepay that now when it's likely cheaper and so that your burial or cremation can take place as quickly and easily as possible once you die. If you're interested in cremation, shop around as it has become very competitive with options out there for less than $1,000. Tulip Cremation in SF comes to mind as having very reasonable rates that can be prepaid.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.