My sister died in 2010. Other than a few cousins and aunts neither of us have seen for 15 years it was just her and I. She was not married and had no children. There was no will and no probate. I was advised not to go through probate due to the money she owed. Her debts have now been written off by the charge card company's and her home was sold by the bank with all her belongings. I paid approx $8,000.00 for her funeral/memorial. There is a savings account in her name only for $7,000.00 that I would like to claim in order to pay off the debt I incurred paying for her funeral/memorial. Can I do so without probate? If not, does there come a time that I can do so without her creditors still coming after me? I never thought I would ask...but times have gotten very hard and the monthly payment for the bills I put on credit cards is getting hard to keep up with.
State/Country relating to question: Arizona
Right after her death I tried to access the account so I could pay for her funeral/memorial directly from this money...but I did not even have the death certificate at that time. So I was told I would have to get the death certificate and go through probate firat. I have tried since.
Hello and thank you for the question. I am sorry to read of this dilemma. Legally I am afraid you would have to go through court and be appointed administrator. Absent that funds won't be released. Seeking to delay to avoid creditors is not helpful. Creditors can pursue a claim for 5 years from when claim arose. Often they won't pursue given size of the estate. The court should award you your claim as a creditor of the estate!Legal counsel may represent you on contingency or flat fee. Keep in mind other assets may be located enlarging your potential inheritance. Good luck!!
Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses
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