Los Angeles, CA asked in Probate for California

Q: Am I required to go through probate?

My father passed away without a will. My mother is still alive and was married to him for 53 years at time of death. They own one house together. My father loved cars and has a few in his name and my mother's name. They also had one joint checking account with less than $1000 in it.. There is one small life insurance policy without a listed beneficiary. He has one personal loan over $5000 and a few credit cards under $1000. Are we required to go through probate? Is the home and cars protected from being sold off to pay the personal loan?

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

A: Since your parents were married at the time of your father’s death and they owned their home together, no probate should be required, either because they owned it together as joint tenants with the right of survivorship or as community property.

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