A: Yes, without a doubt, but the logistics may be difficult. You can call the prison administration to find out how to arrange it. If it’s impossible for you to get an original document to an inmate for signature, perhaps an attorney will have a better chance. The prison will have a notary available. Make sure to include a postage prepaid self addressed envelope for the return to you. Good luck!
A: If the sum total value of all assets held individually by the decedent at time of death (excluding beneficiary designation accounts where there is a designated beneficiary, such as life insurance, annuities, and retirement accounts) is under $166,250, you can claim these assets from the bank by a small estate affidavit under California Probate Code section 13100. Just Google the search term and you'll find a sample form. You might also want to call the bank first to see if they already have a form that you can complete. If the value of the account(s) exceed $166,250, you'll need to contact a probate attorney such as myself to begin a probate proceeding.