If my mother passed away without a Wand had few assets, can we (her children) walk away from the estate?

UPDATED: Jun 26, 2014

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If my mother passed away without a Wand had few assets, can we (her children) walk away from the estate?

She has an outstanding mortgage on a mobile home, a car to which she had the title and outstanding debt equal to or greater than the value of her assets. Must her estate go through probate?

Asked on June 26, 2014 under Estate Planning, Texas


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. For your own piece of mind I would consult with an attorney in your area for a flat fee to be sure that you are in fact correct about the insolvency if the estate. If there were a Will you are under no legal obligation to probate a Will in Texas.  Even if you were named executor in a Will, you have no legal duty to probate the Will.  And if the estate owes money to many creditors and does not have enough assets to pay all the creditors, the named executor may choose to walk away from the estate. So it would seem that the answer is no, in this situation, it may not make financial sense to start the probate process.


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