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Filing a will 10 years after death?

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ddhom

New member
What is the name of your state? California

I read somewhere that you have 30 days to file a will with the court clerk after death. Does the will become invalid if it was not filed in time or can the will still be filed? In my case, it would be about 10 years after death.
 


LdiJ

Senior Member
What is the name of your state? California

I read somewhere that you have 30 days to file a will with the court clerk after death. Does the will become invalid if it was not filed in time or can the will still be filed? In my case, it would be about 10 years after death.
What is the backstory here? The advice will be different in different scenarios. If you are the only heir and just need to probate the estate to put the house in your name, that's one thing. If the estate was already distributed under the intestate laws and you find a will 10 years later, it would probably be impossible to pull the assets back. There could be all kinds of other scenarios as well.
 

ddhom

New member
The estate has never been through probate or been distributed. As far as I know, the estate just includes some savings bonds that have never been cashed and some unclaimed property.
 

Dandy Don

Senior Member
Are you related to the decedent? You (or an attorney you hire) will have to open a smaller estates proceeding and then whoever the administrator is will receive a document called letters testamentary (soon after probate is opened). It is a certified copy of that document that you or the administrator will submit to the unclaimed property office. The only minor problem is that if creditors (who are owed money from the decedent if the decedent had unpaid bills) file claims to be paid then their claims will be paid first and there may be virtually nothing left to distribute to the heirs. But after so long a passage of time, the creditors may not even pay attention to the public notice that will mention that an estate will be opened.

Please explain why the will was not submitted for probate, even though the value of the estate seems to be relatively small.
 

ddhom

New member
Are you related to the decedent? You (or an attorney you hire) will have to open a smaller estates proceeding and then whoever the administrator is will receive a document called letters testamentary (soon after probate is opened). It is a certified copy of that document that you or the administrator will submit to the unclaimed property office. The only minor problem is that if creditors (who are owed money from the decedent if the decedent had unpaid bills) file claims to be paid then their claims will be paid first and there may be virtually nothing left to distribute to the heirs. But after so long a passage of time, the creditors may not even pay attention to the public notice that will mention that an estate will be opened.

Please explain why the will was not submitted for probate, even though the value of the estate seems to be relatively small.
I'm the decedent's great niece. The reason there was no probate was probably because nobody knew what to do and I didn't find out about the money until recently. If I use a small estate affidavit (which I don't think requires going to court), do I still have to file the will with court?
 

Ohiogal

Queen Bee
I'm the decedent's great niece. The reason there was no probate was probably because nobody knew what to do and I didn't find out about the money until recently. If I use a small estate affidavit (which I don't think requires going to court), do I still have to file the will with court?
Yes the will needs probated.
 

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