I get questions frequently from friends and current clients about whether an estate needs to be open in Mississippi if a family member of theirs passes away. Sometimes an estate is required and sometimes it is not. If a person’s estate is worth less than $50,000, then you generally do not have to open one unless there is an asset, like real property, that needs to be handled through an estate in order to make sure the title to the land is clear. Some assets pass outside this completely, such as life insurance benefits and retirement plans, which go to whomever is listed as the beneficiary on those policies. If there is no beneficiary listed, then these assets would have to be distributed through a proceeding. Money from joint checking accounts also passes to the joint account holder rather than going through the estate. Real property held jointly with full rights of survivor-ship in more than one person would go to the other land owners listed in the deed and would also pass outside the estate. But be aware that a creditor, or someone who the deceased owed money, can also open this even if it is worth less than $50,000 in order to try and collect some of the money they are owed by requiring personal property, land, vehicles or other items to be sold.
Mississippi requires an attorney in order to open an estate, meaning it cannot be handled on a pro se basis. If you or a loved one has any questions regarding whether an estate needs to be opened or if you need to open one, please give us a call at 601-948-8005. All consultations are free.
If you need assistance with this and chancery work, social security disability, discrimination, guardianship’s, and domestic matters, contact Teresa Harvey today by calling CG Law Group at 601-948-8005 or by using our live chat on our website.