Q: I want to prepare a peition to determine succession to real property, but I am worried about the fees
My dad's estate consists primarily of his 1/3 of our family house (mom lives with us; all our names are on the deed as TIC (line to vest title was left blank) and two cars in his name. I want to use the petition to transfer the titles into my name since I'm listed as the sole beneficiary, but because his estate is small, and a probate referee is needed to appraise these assets, how can they be paid from the estate? Don't you pay all these fees out of pocket (including probate ref. fee) after you file the documents and before a referee is picked for your case? Isn't the court supposed to grant you some documents allowing you to open up an estate account to pay for the probate referee, even if you are only just filing a petition to determine succession to real property when there's no probate proceeding going on to appoint an exec/administrator?
A: It may not be a difficult or expensive situation. You need to talk to a tax lawyer. YOU Can probably transfer title to the cars without any lawyer or court involvement. The 1/3 interest in the house; depends how title is held. Have a short discussion with a tax lawyer. It may not be as bad as you imagine.
A: If the value of the one-third is less than $150,000, there is a shortened probate procedure that can be followed. See a lawyer who handles real estate transactions, including an estate planning attorney, probate attorney, or real estate attorney. You don't need a lawyer to transfer title to the cars. The information is on the DMV's website. But, if you need help with the forms, certainly an attorney could help you. Best wishes!
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