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Dwayne B.
Dwayne B., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 33063
Experience:  Estate Law Expert
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my father died on aug.27,2013. he had no other assets besides

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my father died on aug.27,2013. he had no other assets besides a car that was financed and a few thousand in his bank account. he had a VA pension which they took back the September payment that was direct deposited on 8/30. this payment is used monthly to pay his skilled nursing facility along with other expenses. I just received a letter from the VA stating that he is not entitled to the payment in the month that he passed which means they want me to send the whole month of August when that money was spent at the beginning of the month when he was still alive. they are saying I, as the beneficiary and executor of his will, am responsible for this amount. I can barely pay rent. Please help!

Dwayne B. :

Hello and thank you for contacting us. This is Dwayne B. and I’m an expert here and looking forward to assisting you today. If at any point any of my answers aren’t clear please don’t hesitate to ask for clarification.

Dwayne B. :

The money that he was sent by the VA was used by him to pay for his care at the nursing home (mostly) for the last month he was alive?

Dwayne B. :

If so, how were they paud? By check, draft, etc?

Customer:

by check written out to the facility

Dwayne B. :

Who wrote the check?

Customer:

he did

Dwayne B. :

Have you filed the will for probate through the court?

Customer:

no

Dwayne B. :

As an heir you aren't responsible for his bills, they are just lying to you about that.

Dwayne B. :

His estate would be liable, but for the estate to pay there would have to be a probate opened through the court.

Dwayne B. :

What kind of property did your dad leave?

Customer:

it's the veterans administration that wants their money back

Dwayne B. :

It doesn't matter who it is. They can only get the money from the estate.

Dwayne B. :

What kind of property did your dad leave when he passed away?

Customer:

a car that was financed. he owes about $7000

Dwayne B. :

Was there any money in a bank account or did he own any real estate or a house?

Customer:

there's $5000 left in his bank account. that is all he had left

Dwayne B. :

Was the bank account in his name only or was it left with a beneficiary?

Customer:

I was power of attorney because he was a double amputee and I had to do all his errands. I was also the beneficiary

Dwayne B. :

If you were the beneficiary of the account then it would have passed to you automatically upon his death. Was this the same account the VA check was deposited in?

Customer:

yes, direct deposited around the 1st of the month. I guess the heart of my question is if he dieed on the 27th of the month are they etitled to retrieve the whole month back?

Dwayne B. :

Their rules state the payment made at the beginning of the month can be recovered if the person passes away during the month. You said this was a pension?

Customer:

yes

Dwayne B. :

To recover the money they are going to have to open a probate and pursue you, which they almost certainly won't do.

Dwayne B. :

What you should do is go and hire a local lawyer to write them a letter, explain how the money was used, and explain that you aren't going to open a probate and if they want to pursue it they have to open the estate. They won't do it and so their claim will most likely just go away.

Customer:

but so can I take the $5000 out and if so when?

Dwayne B. :

If you are the beneficiary of the $5000 you can open a new account with it but check with the lawyer who is writing the letter first.

Dwayne B. :

He will likely tell you just to take it and open an account in a new bank.

Customer:

thank you very much

Dwayne B. :

You're very welcome. I think you'll be okay in all of this.

Dwayne B. and 2 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Best wishes to you.
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