My son died in Feb this year. There was no estate and so far no probate. I funded the funeral expenses and the estate contributed nothing. There is no spouse but there is a daughter in another state that has had little to do with my son for years. My son was disabled and I handled all his affairs and had POA privilege's. I handled what had to be done with his limited affairs and estate. There was no real dollar value, just basically personal items. The daughter came in from another state for the funeral and went through his personal items and took whatever she wanted and then returned home. So I have pretty much finished handling his affairs except for a couple items. He has been sent a couple of refund checks from utilities and insurance and when I tried to deposit them in his local bank account that I was POA on, they said POA was invalid now that he died and I would need to have some executor privilege's to do anything with his back account now. They said I would have to go to probate court to get these privilege's. These checks are not a large sum of money and it appears to be last thing that is needed to finalize his affairs so I don't want to get a probate attorney involved or have to go through some long complicated probate process to accomplish this simple task. My question is, is there anyway to do this without going through probate court? And if I do go there, will the daughter be notified? If she finds out that I applied to be executor, she and her mother will think there is something to gain from an estate that doesn't exist and cause undue complications Her and especially her mother, who by the way was never married to her father, has always caused problems for years when it comes to anything legal or looks like it may benefit her. I don't mind going to probate court and filling out some forms and maybe pay a small fee but if it gets much more involved than that or if the daughter will be notified, I will just pass on the whole thing and not deposit the checks. Thanks for any help or advice on this matter. And btw, I am in Ohio.
1 Answer from Attorneys
Sorry for you loss. You can file an application to relief estate from administration which is a simpler process than a full estate. Since you paid for the funeral you can seek the money up to the cost of what you paid for the funeral. You will need to file with his will (if any), death certificate, paid funeral bill and proof of the amount the checks that need to be probated. You will also need to serve his daughter with a copy of the filing. There is a court filing fee but is a pretty simple process that you can do yourself.