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My mother passed in August. I was named the executor and have found out that she has about 200 with PAI and 8000 from the state of New Jersey. There are no other assets and the debt she has is more than her total asses. Ford has repossessed her car and creditors continue to call. The house she owned is behind on mortgage payments. I live out of state and I can’t open an estate account. What can I do?
Asked on February 28, 2018 under Estate Planning, Oregon
SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney
Answered 5 years ago | Contributor
First, be aware that you are not personally liable for any of her debts (unless you co-signed or guaranteed them), so you are not responsible to pay any debts and when creditors call, you can tell them that the estate appears to be insolvent and that you are in the process of removing yourself as executor (see below). Many will then stop bothering you.
Second, you can't be forced to serve as executor. Since the debts exceed the estate, there is really no reason for you to spend time or effort or emotional energy on this. Contact the probate court and explain that you are not in a position to continue as executor for a seemingly insolvent estate located in a different state. Find out what form or document you need to provide in order to remove yourself as executor. The estate then is not your problem, and when creditors call, you can tell them that you are not the executor and hang up.
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