Q: my 22 yr old son died intestate in Marin county california. How do I as his parent get appointed as Administrator of
his estate. He was not married and had no children. His estate is valued at less than $150,000. I need to get Letters
of Administration signed by a court in order to get his medical records. Thank you
A: First, I'm so very sorry you lost your son. That's just awful. My heart goes out to you. But to answer your question, the only way to get Letters is from a Probate Court. However, since your son's estate is less than $166,250 (the current probate limit in California), you should be able to use a Small Estate Affidavit, which any lawyer can prepare for you without going to court. Contact the company and tell them that you can get a Small Estate Affidavit and see if the company will accept that in lieu of Letters. It is much less expensive and faster to get. Best wishes to you.
Sally Bergman agrees with this answer
My condolences for the loss of your son. You do not need to file for probate for that amount of money as it is below California's small estate affidavit limit of $166,250. You must wait 40 days following your son's death. If you contact the financial institution holding the money, they will often send you their own Affidavit form to complete. You will also need to send them a certified copy of the death certificate.
With respect to accessing your son's medical records, how that can be done would depend upon the reason why you want to access them. If you are considering some type of wrongful death claim, you should contact a personal injury attorney who will know how to secure the records.
For any other reason why you might need to access the medical records, you need to contact a probate attorney with more detail.
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