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My ex-husband passed away February 2008. We had two children…

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My ex-husband passed away February...
My ex-husband passed away February 2008. We had two children together. There was no will and his estate total was about $6500. He signed a quit-claim deed giving me the house.
After his passing I was being harrassed by one of his credit card companies, that he owed money to (I was not a user on the account nor was my name/ss# XXXXX with it in any way).
I spoke to a lawyer at that time who told me that there is (was) a "clause", he referred to it as an "heir exempt clause" and explained that for each heir to his estate (our two children), there is a clause which allows up to $7500 (per heir) to be exempt from any claims against his estate. Since he has two heirs, anything below $15,000 would be exempt from any debtors making claims for payment.
I explained this to the credit card company and didn't hear back from them, until now. We are trying to close his estate and have been informed that this credit card company turned his debt over to a collection agency which has now made a claim against his estate and before we can close it out, it needs to be paid.
Can you tell me if this clause is still in effect and where i might find it in writing to refer to? Or, if i completely misunderstood to begin with and all estate monies are subject to any and all claims made against it.
Thank you,
Tineke Santos-Donian
Submitted: 8 years ago.Category: Estate Law
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Answered in 8 hours by:
6/26/2010
Estate Lawyer: Infolawyer, Attorney replied 8 years ago
Infolawyer
Infolawyer, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 63,623
Experience: Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.
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Hello and thank you for your question.What precisely do you want to know?
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
Is there such a "clause" which would make his estate exempt from any claims made against it, due to the low worth of it ($6500)?
Estate Lawyer: Infolawyer, Attorney replied 8 years ago
Most creditors wont pursue the estate since not worth the time/cost.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
This one is. They made a claim against his estate. Like i mentioned, i had spoke to a lawyer a couple years ago when they began their pursuite and he informed me of this "clause". Can you tell me if there is such a clause? ...from what i can remember, he referred to it as an "heir exemption" clause...?
Estate Lawyer: Infolawyer, Attorney replied 8 years ago
There is such clause but if the estate ends up not having liquid assets to pay off the debt the creditor wont be paid.
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
What his estate was comprised of was from the sale of his truck and what little he had in his bank account... which all came to about $6500.
Can you tell me where i can find this clause so i can show his sister (the executor) and she can relay this to the judge and/or creditor... or am i going to have to end up hiring a lawyer...?
Estate Lawyer: Infolawyer, Attorney replied 8 years ago
What clause?
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
The clause i've been speaking of... The heir exemption clause....
Estate Lawyer: Infolawyer, Attorney replied 8 years ago
I am not aware of one applicable but I will have a colleague look at this too
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Customer reply replied 8 years ago
That would be great...
But I'm a little confused as you mentioned in your previous email:
"There is such clause but if the estate ends up not having liquid assets to pay off the debt the creditor wont be paid"...

I was told, if a person dies without a will, his assets all go to his estate. If he has heirs, his estate is protected against, for the benefit of the heirs, any debtors making claims against it (the estate), if it is worth less than $7500 per heir.

Is this true? ...Can a debtor make a claim against an estate if it is worth is less than $7500 per surviving heir?
If so, say the estate, after paying funeral and other misc. costs has a value of $2000... this debtor makes a claim for outstanding debt owed by the deceased of $2500, his heirs get nothing??... This is what I'm trying to verify.
Thanks!
Estate Lawyer: Daniel P., Attorney replied 8 years ago
Daniel P.
Daniel P., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,742
Experience: I have my own practice in Sarasota, FL- Estate Planning, Medicaid & VA law, Probate & Family Law
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Thank you for entrusting me with your legal issue. I will work diligently and quickly to answer your questions. I look forward to assisting you.

 

Under Kentucky probate code, unsecured creditors like the ones your ex husband had are paid back last. What I mean is that first expenses of administration are paid (attorney's fees, executor's fees, appraisals, CPA fees, court fees, etc), then you are reimbursed for any funeral expenses (burial, etc), Then federal creditors are paid back (taxes owed, etc.), finally if there is still money remaining the unsecured creditors get paid back.

 

http://www.lrc.state.ky.us/krs/396-00/095.PDF

 

In your situation, with only $6500 of assets, I would advise that at least $5,000 were used to pay funeral expenses and the remaining was used to pay court costs and executor fees. Since, there isn't anything else left to pay back the remaining creditors the estate is considered insolvent and the creditors are out of luck. Get an order from the court showing the estate is insolvent and you'll be fine.

Daniel P.
Daniel P., Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 2,742
Experience: I have my own practice in Sarasota, FL- Estate Planning, Medicaid & VA law, Probate & Family Law
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