How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Richard Your Own Question
Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 53706
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
Type Your Estate Law Question Here...
Richard is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

I inherited a home w/mortgage and have continued to pay on

This answer was rated:

I inherited a home w/mortgage and have continued to pay on it until sold 7/15/13. The estate had no cash and I have paid out over 7K of my own money to keep it afloat until sold. There was only 10K in proceeds. Credit card debt will absorb all of it if paid in full.
1. Should I try to negotiate with credit card companies?

2. Escrow funds: are they part of the estate? Or do I get it back personally since I paid it?
Welcome! My goal is to do my very best to understand your situation and to provide a full and complete answer for you.

Good morning. 1) Yes, definitely always negotiate with credit card companies; in the case of a death of a card holder, they are used to not getting paid and will almost always negotiate a lower payment. 2) If the escrow funds were paid by you personally on behalf of either the decedent or the estate, you would be entitled to claim them from the estate and be reimbursed. Finally, remember that the credit card company is an unsecured creditor and thus at the bottom of the list of priorities. Thus, whatever funds remain in the estate can be used up on debts and payments having priority over unsecured creditors. Included within priority liabilities are executor fees. So, you can pay yourself an executor fee to use up money to enable you to basically tell the credit card company the estate has no assets after paying priority payments and secured debt (house mortgage) and basically pay them nothing.

Thank you so much for allowing me to help you with your questions. I have done my best to provide information which will be helpful to you. If I have not fully addressed your questions or if you have any follow up questions, or if I have misinterpreted your questions in any way, please do not rate me yet, but simply ask a follow up question without rating so I can provide you with a fully satisfactory answer. If I have fully answered your question(s) to your satisfaction, I would appreciate you rating my service with 3, 4, or 5 faces/stars so I can receive credit for helping you today. I thank you in advance for taking the time to provide me a positive rating!

Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Atty said I could negotiate but get any figures in writing. He said nothing of paying myself as executor, and I was appointed executor. This estate did not go through probate so can I still pay myself a fee? Executor fee was not listed on the statute of priority claims.


In error, at closing, the bank took $547 out of proceeds of the sale and put it into escrow to pay insurance that has now been cancelled. Since it was taken out of proceeds, technically I did not pay this in and it will be refunded. Is this my money or fall under the estate?

Thanks for replying. Yes, you do want the credit card companies to put any offer in writing to confirm before you make any settlement payments so you have something proving your agreement with them. The personal representative is entitled to reimbursement for out-of-pocket costs and to compensation, called a commission, for the work involved in settling an estate. This gets paid first. If you did not go through probate, I'm not sure exactly how you sold the house on behalf of the decedent without being appointed executor by the court, but perhaps because of the size of the estate you avoided probate by a small estate affidavit or something similar. You are still entitled to compensation for the work you are doing on behalf of the estate. Based on the facts, the $547 would be estate funds.
Richard and other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Thank you so much for the positive rating! I appreciate having had the opportunity to serve you! If I can be of assistance to you in the future, just look me up and I will be happy to help! For easy access, my bookmark is:
Thank you also for the bonus! I appreciate your kindness!

Related Estate Law Questions