What to do if my mom passed away recently without a Will?

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What to do if my mom passed away recently without a Will?

She’s unmarried and I’m an only child (my father is also deceased). I’m the beneficiary of her 401k and life insurances, but not her estate. Her estate, however, is considered insolvent. She owes about $50,000 in credit card debt and only has about $15,000 in equity in her house (but it would only sell for enough to cover the mortgage). She has a car that’s paid off that we could sell too and about $10,000 in a savings account. Can I simply clean out the house (furniture) and hand the keys over to the bank and be done with the whole thing without going through probate? Will I run into future problems with creditors? Is her estate worth going through probate?

Asked on April 10, 2013 under Estate Planning, Missouri

Answers:

Victor Waid / Law Office of Victor Waid

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you could do as you suggest; but watch out for the creditors as they will tell you,  you have to payoff the credit accounts; don't buy into that request, as the estate is liable for her debts, not you..  As to the house, you could walk, as the bank will foreclose for their mortgage; but you should maintain the house insurance for loss or liability during the interim process, and your not liable for the taxes thereon.


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