Deceased persons bills.

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Deceased persons bills.

My aunt passed away over a month ago. She has a Trust with her retirement accounts and life insurance. Her house and everything else will go through probate. We want to keep the water and heat on at her house, so the pipes do not burst, there are no break-ins, etc. Can we just leave those accounts in her name and keep making the payment until probate is finished, or do we need to report her death and do something else? Also, she has already incurred some late fees on her credit cards, however we cannot cancel them without proof of executorship and there is no executor since probate has not started. Should I pay her credit card bills and other bills totaling about $1000, so late fees/penalties do not keep being charged, or do I wait until probate starts?

Asked on January 19, 2019 under Estate Planning, Colorado


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

You will need to set up estate accounts, into which you will transfer the money from her personal accounts, since someone's personal accounts may not be kept open after her death. You will need to start probate and get appointed as an executor to have the authority you will need to deal with her assets and her bills. You can do this fairly quickly; contact the probate court's clerk's office about how to expedite being appointed as executor.

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