Omaha, NE asked in Probate for California

Q: In the state of California as an heir how do I claim deceased person's property? (Cash, stocks, accounts)

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

A: If the sum total value of all assets held individually by the decedent at time of death (excluding beneficiary designation accounts where there is a designated beneficiary, such as life insurance, annuities, and retirement accounts) is under $166,250, you can claim these assets from the bank by a small estate affidavit under California Probate Code section 13100. Just Google the search term and you'll find a sample form. You might also want to call the bank first to see if they already have a form that you can complete. If the value of the account(s) exceed $166,250, you'll need to contact a probate attorney such as myself to begin a probate proceeding.

Nina Whitehurst and Howard E. Kane agree with this answer

Howard E. Kane
Howard E. Kane
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Probate Lawyer
  • Oakland, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: Oftentimes with cash and stock accounts, the account holder lists the beneficiary through "pay on death" paperwork held by the financial institution. If no beneficiaries are listed, then an Affidavit per California Probate Code section 13100 should work if the assets are below the $166,250 threshold. You will also need a certified copy of the Death Certificate.

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