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My father-in-law died without (I'm told) a valid will (un-notarized). His estate consisted of a property valued at less than $50,000. Within 2 weeks of his death, the house was condemned and demolished by the city. No one took possession of the property.Is it necessary to probate the estate? What happens if we don't?

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37 minutes ago, Stephen Schaaf said:

My father-in-law died without (I'm told) a valid will (un-notarized). His estate consisted of a property valued at less than $50,000. Within 2 weeks of his death, the house was condemned and demolished by the city. No one took possession of the property.Is it necessary to probate the estate? What happens if we don't?

 

First of all, there is no requirement that a will be notarized to be valid. The will needs to be signed by the decedent and attested to by two witnesses.

 

Second, no law obligates the survivors to open probate. But if someone wants their share of his estate, they'll need to do that. If nobody does that, then creditors may do it to get the debts owed them paid or the state will ultimately end up with the property.

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