Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in Pennsylvania

I received a check written out "to the estate of (my mother's name) c/0 of me. She has no assets, no will, no estate. How can I cash the check? Must I get a short certificate?

Asked on 5/17/13, 9:14 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

You do not post any really relevant details and without knowing these its difficult to advise you.

The answer is probably "it depends." There is a simplified process in most states for very small estate situations that does not require full blown probate. How much is the check for? Are you the only beneficiary of the estate?

Talk to the register of wills at the Orphan's Court in the county in which an estate would be probated for your mother if she had assets. The short certificate is not all that much ($5 or $10) but it would require you to apply for probate and open an estate account.

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Answered on 5/17/13, 10:48 am


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