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  1. #1
    karenp Guest

    letter of testamentary

    Can someone tell me if a Letter of Testamentary needs to be drafted by an attorney or can something simple suffice?
    Where can I find an example of what one IS, or, what should it say?????
    (For non-probated estate in WI)
    [email]kpoage@slifer.net[/email]
  2. #2
    advisor10 Guest
    4-13-2002

    DEAR KARENP:

    Please explain:

    Why do you want letters testamentary?

    They are issued only by the probate court judge, after the executor or some other person files the paperwork at the courthouse to become executor of an estate.

    SINCERELY,

    advisor
  3. #3
    karenp Guest

    letters testamentary

    My father passed away leaving no will but a very small estate. He had 2 investment funds totalling less than $10,000. To redeem these funds I was told I had to provide a Letter testamentary. My attorney said because he drafted a letter which was signed by all 3 heirs (me, my brother & my stepmother) agreeing to how funds & assests were to be disbursed, we did not have to go to probate & this letter should suffice and we did not have to go through the Court.
    Now I asked him about this Letter Testimentary the Investment company wants and he said he could draft one for me for $800!!!!! I find this a bit crazy when his original fee for doing the letter the heirs signed was all he said we would need. He also said he did not understand why on another fund which I am named sole beneficiary, a letter is even needed. I am confused & do not want to fork-out 800 dollars if I do not have to.
  4. #4
    advisor10 Guest
    4-13-2002

    Get a second opinion from another probate attorney (first consultation is usually free). $800 is too much and there is even a question whether his letter would be legitimate--but maybe he is assuming this is what court fees would cost, I'm not sure.

    Because this estate was relatively small, that is probably why probate was not required (you would have to ask an attorney what the minimum estate limit is in your city/county).

    If I were you, I would file paperwork at the courthouse to become administrator/executor (pretend that the estate is worth $20,000--even if it is later worth $10,000 or less, you can make the correction). The main objective is to file the papers so you can then automatically receive letters testamentary made out in your name. There might be small amount of filing fees involved (less than $500).

    After you get the letters testamentary, then you can start claiming the assets. Financial insitutions only release the monies to the estate executor because that is the only person with the absolute legal authority. Then it is up to the executor to distribute the monies to any other heirs (your brothers and sisters).

    SINCERELY,

    advisor (keith345@hotmail.com)

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