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Barrister
Barrister, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33708
Experience:  15 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate
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My mom passed away last week & I am named executor in her will.

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My mom passed away last week & I am named executor in her will. Her only assets were household furnishings and a 2008 Kia with a loan balance due of $4900.00. The will states I am to receive all household furnishings and any other tangible property..she does have considerable credit card debt. Question: Since she did not own any real-estate, do I have to notify the court of her death?
Hello and thank you for using JA! My goal is to provide you with excellent service and help with your legal problem.
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Would you estimate that her credit card debts and the car debt exceed the value of the car and any personal property?
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Thanks
Barrister
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


roughly $30,000 on credit cards..car blue book value $7,000 with $4900.00 outstanding on the loan..remaining personal property is only furniture & clothes..so yes.. debts exceed .. If she left her personal property to me in the will.. do I have to sell it & pay the creditors? I am considering paying of the car and keeping it..

Ok, here is the problem with this situation...By law all creditors have to be paid before the heirs get anything. It doesn't matter what the will states, by law creditors get paid first. So if you opened a probate case to settle the estate, you would have to sell the car and take the money to pay creditors off. You would also have to sell any other personal property and use the money to pay creditors. Since the debts far exceed any assets, there would be nothing left for the heirs.
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So in a situation like this, there is no benefit to you at all in opening a probate case because by law, everything would be sold and go to creditors. If it were me, I would simply take all her personal property, use the car until they repoed it and not bother opening a probate case because there is nothing to gain in doing so. You wouldn't be able to sell the car without opening a case and once the registration expires, you couldn't renew the tags or get insurance either.
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Thanks.

Barrister

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If you need further help, just reply to me via the “REPLY” button and I will be happy to continue.

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I cannot enter into an attorney client relationship, this is a public forum, and all posts are available for public viewing. There is no duty of confidentiality that attaches to any posts. The information provided is not a substitute for a local attorney’s legal advice.

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

thanks for the info on the car.. mom was ill for almost 2 years..her house furnishings have been in storage during that time and I was hoping to sell or consign some of it so I could shut down the monthly storeroom charge..What would be my responsibilty to her estate if I sell her personal belongings?

Well, from an non-legal perspective, if you never opened a probate case and just took the personal property there would not be anyone to object to you doing so...
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Thanks
Barrister
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