What happens/what to do if someone dies without a Will?

Get Legal Help Today

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption

What happens/what to do if someone dies without a Will?

My 20 year old stepchild’s father just died; she has 4 siblings under 18. No one has been assigned executor or administrator of the estate because there is no estate. her father had a small bank account, 2 junk cars that we are scrapping by having the titles transferred to my stepdaughter and no other belongings.

As next of kin, will she be responsible for any other debt that we don’t even know about? He never filed a tax return for last year, so how will this be handled? What should she do about his bank account? Is there anything else that my stepdaughter needs to know about or look out for?

thanks

Asked on August 13, 2018 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

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

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for her loss.  Children do not assume the debts of their parents unless they have co-signed something,  which is unlikely.  It sounds like his estate would qualify as a Small Estate.  Debts have to be paid from whatever proceeds there are.  She, as his adult daughter, would make the application to court for whatever needs to be done.  Does he have tax liability?  You need to find that out asap.  Here is a pamphlet from the Virginia Bar.  Good luck.
 https://www.vba.org/page/guide_estates


IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

Get Legal Help Today

Find the right lawyer for your legal issue.

 Secured with SHA-256 Encryption