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Trini. Since you were so adamant I couldn't help but comment that a will need NOT be Probated. Consider when granny dies there's 3 things to do, and everyone considered an heir/decendant, whether named in the will or not) must agree:
1. Divide up the cash and untitled personal property (jewelry and furniture. art work, minks, etc) between the heirs before the estate tax assssors sees it (;>).
2. Pay all her bills and creditors, particularly the funeral bill, before one of them opens a Probate to collect and be sure to specifically reimburse the one who pays the funeral bill.
3. Transfer titled assets to heirs. Lots of ways in case she didn't put a POD or beneficiary on them. Car titles usually by DMV with a death certificate. Bonds and stocks though willing transfer agents with an affadavit and death certificate. If the TA balks, try one in a diferent State. Bank accounts and CDs are easily released by a small estates affadavit or Surety Bond "in lieu of Probate". Title companies usually waive Probate to transfer title when real property is sold--for a 2% fee.
A problem such as a non-heir being named in the will can easily make the will disappear. ((;>(
You do not NEED a lawyer to do any of the above. #3 could get difficult in some States. In some States its cheaper and easier to have the lawyer do it. Not every estate can be done like this, but probably 90% or more. Ed
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