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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55605
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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I inherited a home w/mortgage and have continued to pay on

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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.

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Customer: replied 4 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.
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