How can you get a letter of testamentary or similar document when there is no probate?

Additional Information:

My mom and sister died within two days of each other. I am my mom’s representative and her will states that my sister or her estate was to receive a portion of her assets. My sister’s husband (the trustee) is willing to disclaim any proceeds but the insurance company wants a letter of testamentary to validate his right to do so. Since my sister’s estate was not probated what do I do now. My mom was in Colorado and my sister from California.

ATTORNEY ANSWER:

You cannot obtain what you are looking to do without opening a probate for your sister’s estate. Only the fiduciary of your sister’s estate can disclaim or accept the assets. A probate for you sister will have to be opened in either case.

Margaret L. Cross-Beliveau, Esq., LL.M.

Legal Disclaimer: Please note that this answer does not constitute legal advice, and should not be relied on since each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer does not create an attorney-client relationship. A lawyer experienced in the subject area and licensed to practice in the jurisdiction should be consulted for legal advice.

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