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Legalease
Legalease, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 16288
Experience:  15 yrs experience: Elder Law, Wills, Social Security Issues
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If a house is not in your name but is willed to you, are you

Customer Question

If a house is not in your name but is willed to you, are you responsible for all the bills on the home before the estate is settled. ? I live in NYS. The house that was willed to me is in Florida. The bills are pouring in and it's mortgage. I'm a single parent and worried I will lose this home to a foreclosure. The departed sister is the other beneficiary.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Legalease replied 9 months ago.

Hello there --

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If the other beneficiary is deceased, then this house is your responsibility. TEchnically the estate is responsible for all bills leading up to the probate process but if the house is the only thing in the estate and there is a mortgage on it, then the lender has the right to foreclose if the mortgage is not being paid. If the house is worth more than the mortgage on it, it is worth your while to open an estate and get the house sold to pay off the mortgage and the bills. Otherwise, if the house is not worth more than the mortgage on it and you cannot afford to pay for it then you may just have to let it go to foreclosure. My suggestion is that you contact the bank to determine what the outstanding mortgage is and what the value of the house is before you do anything else.

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Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No, let me rephrase this, I am executor n 1 of 2 beneficiaries . The other beneficiary is the departed mans sister still alive. I have paid for everything out of my savings . Home is in Florida, willed to me . Will is probated NY, n ancillary in Fl. Am I responsible for every house bill
Expert:  Legalease replied 9 months ago.

Hello again --

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No, the estate is responsible for all bills and if you pay certain bills you should ask for them back from the estate before the estate is closed. If there is not enough money in the estate to pay all bills and the mortgage then the lender will want to foreclose and get back what it can on the house mortgage. Executors and beneficiaries are never responsible for paying the bills of the deceased or the estate out of their own pocket -- and if there is not enough money in the estate to cover it then some of the creditors do not get paid and the estate is closed by the court. If you do not believe that there will be enough money in the estate to pay back anything that you have already put out, I suggest that you stop paying the bills and let the estate go to foreclosure if that is what must happen.

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MARY

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Will is probated NY, I am executor n 1 of 2 beneficiaries which is divided between us both, with exception of home in Florida which is Willed to me. I understand home is my responsibly once in my name. But I am responsible for every bill up until estate is settled. Ancillary has been started in Florida. I started w sisters lawyer that said I have to pay for every bill; she recently exposed her anger n jealousy I was w her brother my fiancé.( I know drama not necessary here, but now I have to get another lawyer ) home in Florida not in my name yet, deceased WILLED to me, my name not on it yet. She is alive. Lawyer tried telling me I have to pay all bills n maintenance n mortgage it's not her prob, as others tell me he's lying. I am a good Christian woman that cared solely n stood by him n stayed 24/7 by his side 9yrs, so I'm shocked n hurt n blindsided now by different opinions. I need factual response.
Expert:  Legalease replied 9 months ago.

Hello again --

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I just gave you a factual response. An executor or beneficiary of a will is never responsible to pay the bills of a deceased person or of their estate, period. I do not know what they are telling you in Florida, but you can legally walk away from all of this if you want to do so and let them handle it in Florida (you do not have to accept an inheritance). And even if a house is willed to you, if there is a mortgage on the house then the mortgage lender comes first and you own nothing unless the mortgage lender agrees to let you take over the mortgage. Otherwise, if there is no money in the estate to pay the mortgage, the lender can step forward and foreclose, period. You have no legal obligation to deal with any of this and can simply tell them to handle it themselves if you choose to do so,

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MARY

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I apologize I wrote this before you answered ... I love this house. But lawyer her friend said I have to pay n took check acct. I did what I could . There is money to pay for bills: he's not allowed me one dime! So now I know he lied. Bills such as maintenance n electric n gas . He n I shared car, n she knew this . She now says its 1/2 hers, n she appraised n told lawyer she wants 1/2 it's worth ! It's been our car n not written in my name so I assumed he wouldn't lie! I pay 480$ per month n he needed work in it as soon as I pulled it out of hosp when he died: tires battery etc. I paid all past year. N lawyer wants 1/2 $ out of estate without taking into acct I'm paying big bills on it. There is $ n they r not giving me $ for bills . I'm now broke. Awaiting all $ to put towards Fl home so as to pay most of it off. I'm beyond hurt that I fought for my fiancé s life n meds n care ALONE, n now I'm being lied to ...
Expert:  Legalease replied 9 months ago.

Hello again --

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I truly am sorry to hear this, but we can only answer questions in this forum. If you can possibly afford it, my suggestion is to see if you can get another different lawyer in FL to look into all of these matters for you so that you can determine what it is you have been paying for. As I said before, though, you are under absolutely no obligation to pay for anything in an estate and if you want to do so you can just walk away.

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I wish I could tell you more than this, but I do believe I answered your questions on these matters.

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MARY

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