Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.
My name is***** and I will be helping you with your question today. This is for informational purposes only and does not establish an attorney client relationship.
The beneficiary of life insurance (this passes outside of probate and is not considered part of the estate) does not have the obligation to handle the estate. The only obligations regarding the probating of the estate are usually in providing a will to the court (you said there isn't one). It sounds like the estate is most likely insolvent. If you or she (she is most likely the beneficiary along with any other siblings she might have or if the girlfriend is considered a common law spouse - some states do recognize this under certain circumstances) don't want any assets from the estate then you can leave it up to someone else to probate the estate. If probate is started, the executor will notify all creditors and they will normal have around 6 months to file a claim with the estate. If the estate is insolvent then these debts with go away. So to answer your question, no she does not have the obligation.
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