My Mom died last week in California, and I am the executor of her tiny estate consisting of about $900 in a bank account. She owed no debts that I know of. The county probate department has told me we do not need to go through probate because her estate is so small, so we won't need to hire a lawyer. I asked them if we need to post a legal Notice to Creditors in a newspaper, but the probate department said they were not legally allowed to answer that question. Do any of you know if we need to post the legal notice? It will cost between $150-255 as far as I can tell.

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Thanks so much for this great advice. Much appreciated.
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To me - in my not an atty but executor times 3- the issue with NOC would be that:
- that’s a significant amount of the “estate”
- there are trolls that file fraudulent “bills” on posted NOC. You may get these anyway but having a not done by atty NOC to me makes you an ideal pigeon cause....
- you would have to list your name & all contact info for you on the NOC. NOC when it’s traditional probate means there’s an atty of record who is contact and all goes to them, at the law firms Office, so better filtering.

I’d suggest that instead you wait 6-8 months or even a year to do a formal “distribution.” Distribution is what it’s called in probate lingo. Was current bank account with the $900, was it in both mom & your name, so that you are now it’s primary? If so this is ideal (this is what we did for my mom Estate & it was the bank that suggested it) as you were already a signature but now become the owner so tied to your SS#. $ stays there & hopefully it’s a low monthly service charge. (For us, I was even able to use the old checks as both names were on them).  There will be bills coming in next few weeks and you start a file to deal with this & determine if to be paid. Then after 6 - 8 months or A year you do a distribution as per her will.

I’d bet you can file a distribution document at the courthouse for a very modest amount. Like under $5.00. Take cash to file, CH nowadays either it’s an atty with online filing/billing account, cash or a hefty surcharge for credit cards or a long wait for checks to clear. Cash & get a receipt. All nicely done & with a bow on it!

If I had to do it, I’d do on a single sheet of paper a brief info of mom’s details, a line for Assets of Estate as of DOD $900.00, another line for Debts of Estate paid and list them them succinctly & then Distribution to Heirs As Per Will and list name. I’d attach an original death certificate to the filing. 2 pages.

Do you have several death certificates? If not order some now. I got abt a dz for my mom and really every account will require an original to close out. & they don’t give them back....

Did you get a PC #? If so put it on the Distribution List.
I’d bet if you Google small estates affidavit for your state there will be other suggestions as well. 
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