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Wills & Probate

My father died recently. He left a will with my mother as sole beneficiary. We thought we did not need to go through probate, as everything was held jointly by the two of them, or named her as the beneficiary. We have now found that one checking account was not set up jointly, an obvious bank error. Now this checking account is frozen. What needs to be done?

If the account is small enough, your mother can get a court order through a self-help, no-attorney process called Disposition Without Administration. Call the probate clerk in the county where your father resided and see if you can go this route. Usually the probate clerks are helpful in this process and can provide your mother with the forms, and they will not tell you that you need an attorney for this Disposition Without Administration. If the account is too large to qualify, a summary administration may be required, and that is where we can help.