How to Probate a Small Estate: Everything You Need to Know
We are often asked whether probate is needed for small estates — for instance, where the only asset left solely in the deceased’s name is a car.
The short answer?
Yes, you almost always have to go through the entire probate process even for small estates.
In the above example, to change the name on the car’s title (regardless of the value) from the deceased’s name to the name of the heir, you need a court order. And to get that court order, you have to go through probate.
Is there a simpler way?
Thankfully, many states have simplified probate procedures for estates that are considered small.
Each state’s threshold is different, but generally estates below $150,000 can petition the court for simplified estate procedure. Some states even have a vehicle-only probate form or will simply let you transfer a certain number of vehicles without probate.
You can contact the DMV to see if this option is available in your state.
Don't make the mistake of overpaying an attorney for simple or small estates. Contact us to learn more about our probate service and how we can help you save time and money.