Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
Hello,Thank you for allowing us to assist you with this problem.
I am sorry to hear the your sister has passed.
A POA will not be possible because only your sister would be able to provide one and even if you already had a POA, the POA would terminate upon the passing of your sister. You need to be appointed as the Representative/Adminstrator of your sister's estate.
You need to file an application to be appointed the Personal Representative with the Probate Court in the County where your sister lived. You can contact the appropriate county to request the application. The completed application is submited and a judge would provide you with a letter of adminstration which would allow you legal authority to access her apartment, contact creditor and handle her estate. It sounds like her estate is insolvent (she owes more debt than she owed assets), so you may be able to wrap up the estate by providing her creditors with a copy of the Death Certificate and proof she was insolvent after paying burial costs.
Again, I am sorry for loss,
Thank you. Yes her estate is 99.999% likely insolvent. Who her creditors are we have no idea.
We still have the problem of her social security number being unknown to us and it is a required field on all documents. Can you retrieve this for us? At what cost?
Once you are appointed as the Personal Representative of the estate then you would be able to access her bank accounts, financial information and credit information to obtain a full understanding of her assets and debts.
No, I do not have access to Social Security records. However; that is something you can obtain yourself for Social Security. You can make your request online or in writing.
To Make Your Request Online
Use online Form SSA-711 to get the:
To Make Your Request in Writing
Send your request in writing along with a check or money order payable to the Social Security Administration using the address and fee schedule below. Include:
Social Security AdministrationOffice of Privacy and Disclosure617 Altmeyer Building6401 Security BoulevardBaltimore, Maryland 21235Fax: (410) 966-0869
The records are confidential so you will need to enclose a copy of the death certificate to prove she is deceased.
I believe the fee is $29 payable to the Social Security Department.
A follow up question, after doing research and knowing she both died intestate and insolvent, can we not just leave it up to the State of Michigan to settle her affairs? Why should we incur expenses, other than funeral that we know will not be recouped? This includes to her landlord whom is not cooperating in allowing us access to her apartment? Can we not just abandon all? Can we let the state send out notices of death to the SSA, DMV & creditors etc? This may be our preferred course of action.
Your comments or thoughts?