Estate Law

Estate Law Questions? Ask an Estate Lawyer.

Ask a Lawyer,
Get an Answer ASAP!

Estate Law
This answer was rated:

Im in Ohio. My father passed away in April of this year and

I'm in Ohio. My father...
I'm in Ohio. My father passed away in April of this year and had a lot of outstanding debts. My mom was the executor of his estate and everything passed to her and did not go through probate. We have one person who dad borrowed $15,000 @ 10% interest in 1980 who is currently hounding my mom for money. Since then we have managed to pay back $16900 of that amount, the last payments in 2008.

The only asset my father died with was our house, which is not paid off. It is now solely in my mom's name and we are still paying on it and it has several liens on it from the State and Federal government that we are slowly getting cleaned up with his life insurance benefit.

Does my mother owe this many any money since the debt was never in her name? I would assume no. More importantly: since the house had been in dad's name previously could he attach the house somehow?

Does this man have any legal ability to collect the interest from this loan being that it was from 1980
Show More
Show Less
Ask Your Own Estate Law Question
Answered in 10 minutes by:
9/24/2013
LegalGems
LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10,847
Experience: Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
Verified

LegalGems :

Hi; My goal is to provide you with great service - if you have any questions during our chat, please ask! I'll do my best to ensure your satisfaction! I'm sorry to hear of your recent loss. When someone passes away, their probate estate becomes subject to any valid creditor claims. The probate estate is typically comprised of assets that do not pass by operation of law (i.e. it does not include assets that pass outside of probate. Examples of this would be property held in joint tenancy with right of survivorship; live insurance proceeds naming a beneficiary, etc). Probate assets include anything that is addressed in the will (ie life insurance proceeds payable to the estate versus an individual beneficiary). The purpose of probate is to settle the decedent's legal and financial affairs, and to pay off valid creditor claims. If the process is handled correctly, the process serves to bar any creditors that do not timely submit the claim. If the estate is insolvent, then the creditor is out of luck, unless a living person co-signed for the loan, in which case the creditor could attempt to collect based on the co-signor's liability.

Customer:

From what I'm reading... since the house was in both of my parents' names the house has gone to mom and therefore no longer attachable by dad's creditors?

LegalGems :

If it was titled as joint tenant with right of survivorship that would be correct. As then the property passes outside of probate and is not available to the creditors.

Customer:

It was.

Customer:

So hypothetically if this man attempts to take my mother to court he could only sue dad's estate and assets... which basically don't exist because the only asset worth anything was the house?

Customer:

Or rather sue his estate and attach his assets.

LegalGems :

It sounds like an estate was not opened- which is often the case when the first spouse dies and the surviving spouse held everything of value under the JT with right of survivorship - since probate is not required to transfer the property.

Customer:

(The loan itself was a personal loan done without anyone legal present:

PROMISSORY NOTE
$10,000 June 1, 1980

I, [my father], in consideration of a loan of money, receipt of which is hereby acknowledged, promise to pay [the creditor], upon demand the sum of $10,000, with interest at the rate of 10% per annum.

Customer:

I see (sorry, I was typing when you put up the response)

LegalGems :

So if your mom re-affirmed it or accepted liability based on subsequent documents, she could be exposed to liability. Otherwise since there are no assets in the estate, the estate is considered insolvent.

LegalGems :

Chat sometimes ends up with cross posting but it is convenient for it's real time exchange.

Customer:

Yes, definitely.

Customer:

As far as I know she has never taken on liability other than the fact that she happened to be married to my dad and the creditor happened to know and talk to both of them. She has never signed anything. At most this man has harassed her on the side to try to get money out of us, but she has never done anything otherwise.

Customer:

So based on this information, if he tried to take her to court would the case likely be thrown out (assuming I have provided everything correctly here)

LegalGems :

OK, that is good. Since Ohio is not a community property state, the marriage alone would not create liability.

Customer:

GOOD. She's suffered enough for my dad's poor decision making.

Customer:

just in case that last line got swallowed up: based on this information, if he tried to take her to court would the case likely be thrown out (assuming I have provided everything correctly here)?

LegalGems :

Thanks for retyping that- I missed that. Yes, because a plaintiff needs to sue the proper defendant. There are some states that have old laws stating that for example, the children are responsible for debts of the parents (particularly medical debts) but these have not been enforced in generations.

Customer:

I see. Thank you so much, this is a great relief. This man was harassing and bullying my mother today while I was at work about this and as expected, she doesn't owe him a DIME.

LegalGems :

You are welcome. You may need to hire an attorney to prepare a cease and desist letter, so that he does not continue to contact your mother.

Customer:

I have been considering that already. We (or I) will be contacting him and laying this out clearly for him. Hopefully that will be enough. But thank you for that suggestion, I was actually thinking of a restraining order, but that is probably more than is necessary. Or are they the same thing...?

LegalGems :

The restraining order will be a step above having a C&D letter. Generally, if the person has not annoying as opposed to harassing, a C&D letter suffices as it puts the individual on notice. If, however, your mother is concerned for her safety, by all means a restraining order and a call to the local police to report the incident.

Customer:

Ok. C&D makes more sense, I don't think he means any physical harm. A part of me feels bad because dad did owe him that money and he wasn't able to pay it, but that doesn't make it ok to harass my mother like this. (It would be different if we actually had enough from the death benefit to pay things out but unfortuneately we barely have enough left over to feel secure that my mom will be ok in retirement)

LegalGems :

I understand. I'm glad to hear you think the C&D will work. Here's a link to the state bar's referral page so you can find an attorney in good standing. A C&D should cost between $150-250; https://www.ohiobar.org/Pages/Home.aspx?lawyerfind.net

Customer:

Thank you so much for your help.

Customer:

I think that covers everything that I needed to know, I'm feeling much more calm and in control of the situation now.

LegalGems :

You are very welcome. Best wishes to your family during this time.

Customer:

Thank you. Will a transcript of this be emailed to me?

LegalGems :

I believe that after the chat is closed there is a print/save button. If not, you can always copy and paste it into a word document, or link it from the emails the site sends you periodically.

Customer:

Ok, perfect. I'll go ahead and end the session then. Thank you again for this information, it's helped tremendously.

LegalGems :

Great. Glad to have helped. Take care! (if you have any problems accessing this, you can contact customer service, as they are great with helping customers with the technical aspect of things).

LegalGems
LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10,847
Experience: Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor
Verified
LegalGems and 87 other Estate Law Specialists are ready to help you
Ask your own question now
I wanted to be sure and thank you for using JA/Pearl.

I hope you found the information I provided useful. Hopefully things work out well with your mom. You may want to check the local "area on aging" (www.ohioaging.org) to see what services they offer to seniors- often they will help with everyday chores so it may be worthwhile to check it out. (it's a government agency that is free).
If you would like to request me for your future legal inquires, please put TO LEGAL GEMS in front of the question, and I will do my best!
Take care.

Please be sure and complete the customer satisfaction survey the site will be sending you so that I can continue to provide affordable information to our customers. Thank you!

Many thanks for the bonus-much appreciated!
Ask Your Own Estate Law Question
Ask LegalGems Your Own Question
LegalGems
LegalGems
LegalGems, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 10,847
10,847 Satisfied Customers
Experience: Private Practice; Elder Law Attorney; Estate Planning; Attorney Mentor

LegalGems is online now

A new question is answered every 9 seconds

How JustAnswer works:

  • Ask an ExpertExperts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional AnswerVia email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site. Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction GuaranteeRate the answer you receive.

JustAnswer in the News:

Ask-a-doc Web sites: If you've got a quick question, you can try to get an answer from sites that say they have various specialists on hand to give quick answers... Justanswer.com.
JustAnswer.com...has seen a spike since October in legal questions from readers about layoffs, unemployment and severance.
Web sites like justanswer.com/legal
...leave nothing to chance.
Traffic on JustAnswer rose 14 percent...and had nearly 400,000 page views in 30 days...inquiries related to stress, high blood pressure, drinking and heart pain jumped 33 percent.
Tory Johnson, GMA Workplace Contributor, discusses work-from-home jobs, such as JustAnswer in which verified Experts answer people’s questions.
I will tell you that...the things you have to go through to be an Expert are quite rigorous.

What Customers are Saying:

My husband has been driving me insane with questions regarding estate issues since his mother died. I'm not a lawyer! Thanks to JustAnswer, I was able to calm his concerns.

Loretta TIllinois

Thanks Adam!! - A very direct and understandable response - you have been a great help!

Happy CustomerEllicott City, MD

Mr. Kaplun clearly had an exceptional understanding of the issue and was able to explain it concisely. I would recommend JustAnswer to anyone. Great service that lives up to its promises!

Gary B.Edmond, OK

My Expert was fast and seemed to have the answer to my taser question at the tips of her fingers. Communication was excellent. I left feeling confident in her answer.

EricRedwood City, CA

I am very pleased with JustAnswer as a place to go for divorce or criminal law knowledge and insight.

MichaelWichita, KS

PaulMJD helped me with questions I had regarding an urgent legal matter. His answers were excellent.

Three H.Houston, TX

Anne was extremely helpful. Her information put me in the right direction for action that kept me legal, possible saving me a ton of money in the future. Thank you again, Anne!!

ElaineAtlanta, GA

< Previous | Next >

Meet the Experts:

Thomas McJD

Thomas McJD

Attorney

3,170 satisfied customers

Wills, Trusts, Probate & other Estate Matters

Barrister

Barrister

Attorney

5,414 satisfied customers

17 yrs estate law, real estate. Wills/Trusts/Probate

RayAnswers

RayAnswers

Attorney

5,061 satisfied customers

Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law

Infolawyer

Infolawyer

Attorney

5,015 satisfied customers

Licensed attorney helping individuals and businesses.

Ely

Ely

Counselor at Law

1,839 satisfied customers

Fully licensed attorney in Texas in private practice.

RobertJDFL

RobertJDFL

Attorney

1,451 satisfied customers

Experienced in multiple areas of the law.

ScottyMacEsq

ScottyMacEsq

Attorney

1,162 satisfied customers

Licensed Texas General Practice Attorney

< Previous | Next >

Related Estate Law Questions
Do all assets of a estate freeze once probate has begun?
Do all assets of a estate freeze once probate has begun?What happens when a creditor and debtor can not settle a debt in probate? Does a judge ultimately decide?… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,414 satisfied customers
I am an heir in an estate that is being probated in the
I am an heir in an estate that is being probated in the state of Oregon under the laws of intestate. The personal representative is now saying she wants to close out the estate and make the distributi… read more
jb156200
jb156200
Associate Attorney
Doctoral Degree
413 satisfied customers
My mothers estate is in probate court, due for a final
hello pearl, my mothers estate is in probate court, due for a final motion to end, i believe my brother and sisters are trying to eliminate me from her assets. I have been homeless for about 2 years, … read more
Barrister
Barrister
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,414 satisfied customers
For a probate estate in Pennsylvania in which (1) there is a
For a probate estate in Pennsylvania in which (1) there is a will and (2) the executor is the sole heir with authority to sell the property, does the executor need to petition the Court for approval t… read more
jb156200
jb156200
Associate Attorney
Doctoral Degree
413 satisfied customers
I need an Oregon Estate/Probate to clarify if there is any
I need an Oregon Estate/Probate to clarify if there is any difference when it comes to compelling the Trustee to pay beneficiaries according to the instructions in the trust. I have already had the ve… read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Attorney
10,847 satisfied customers
Dealing with initiating a probate case for my fathers estate
dealing with initiating a probate case for my fathers estate valued at less than 70,000 … read more
RayAnswers
RayAnswers
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,061 satisfied customers
I need advice regarding probate / estate law in NYs, I said
Hi..... I need advice regarding probate / estate law in NYs … read more
Roy Hadavi
Roy Hadavi
Attorney
Juris Doctorate
886 satisfied customers
Second opinion] Family estate; not probated: Parents- Father
Second opinion] Family estate; not probated: Parents- Father & Mother is dead; oldest son dies after parents; all siblings has died; some siblings has children; oldest son wife dies after him, they ha… read more
Barrister
Barrister
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,414 satisfied customers
Family estate; not probated: Parents- Father & Mother is
Family estate; not probated: Parents- Father & Mother is dead; oldest son dies after parents; all siblings has died; some siblings has children; oldest son wife dies after him, they have no offsprings… read more
jb156200
jb156200
Associate Attorney
Doctoral Degree
413 satisfied customers
I have a question concerning wills and estate probate. I am
Good afternoon - I have a question concerning wills and estate probate. I am the oldest son with sister and brother. We all live in Florida but different cities and are not close (don't communicate). … read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
1,839 satisfied customers
Can the administrator of an estate in probate borrow against
Can the administrator of an estate in probate borrow against the equity of the house (part of the estate) to pay off creditors?… read more
Alex Esquire
Alex Esquire
Managing Attorney
Doctoral Degree
153 satisfied customers
Are you familiar estate probate laws in Georgia? Oh okay. I
Oh okay. I need a Georgia lawyer experienced in estate probate. I will call one tomorrow. Thank you! … read more
Michael Bradley
Michael Bradley
JD
1,127 satisfied customers
I am a beneficiary of an estate that is being probated In
I am a beneficiary of an estate that is being probated In Oregon under laws for intestate. One of the assets the decedent owned and operated was a small business. The business was not compliant and fi… read more
RayAnswers
RayAnswers
Attorney
Doctoral Degree
5,061 satisfied customers
I am a beneficiary of an estate that is being probated In
I am a beneficiary of an estate that is being probated In Oregon under laws for intestate. I want to find out what my remedies are to remove, sanction or obtain added court oversight for the personal … read more
LegalGems
LegalGems
Attorney
10,847 satisfied customers
PROBATE REAL ESTATE OPTIONS TO SHOW CAUSE FOR DISTRIBUTION
PROBATE REAL ESTATE OPTIONS TO SHOW CAUSE FOR DISTRIBUTIONREQUEST 1. What are the options for managing the acquisition of heir property unencumbered while foreclosure procedures are in place by OCWEN,… read more
Irwin Law
Irwin Law
Juris Doctor JD
7,049 satisfied customers
I need to probate a will in TX. The estate is only about
I need to probate a will in TX. The estate is only about 2500.00 and the funeral expenses are about that. I am the listed as executor and on a the bank account. The bank says I need a minument of titl… read more
Ely
Ely
Counselor at Law
Juris Doctor
1,839 satisfied customers
PROBATE -REAL ESTATE CURE TO RESPOND TO... PROBATE -REAL
PROBATE -REAL ESTATE CURE TO RESPOND TO... PROBATE -REAL ESTATE CURE TO RESPOND TO ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE ISSUE: Show Cause Hearing Action Plan Needed given circumstances noted below.REQUESTS 1. Should I… read more
Irwin Law
Irwin Law
Juris Doctor JD
7,049 satisfied customers
I was wondering if there was a probate/Estate attorney in
Hello there! I was wondering if there was a probate/Estate attorney in Tampa that you could recommend to me? My sister and I met with one and he was horrible. He made us feel like we were monsters and… read more
jb156200
jb156200
Associate Attorney
Doctoral Degree
413 satisfied customers

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

DISCLAIMER: Answers from Experts on JustAnswer are not substitutes for the advice of an attorney. JustAnswer is a public forum and questions and responses are not private or confidential or protected by the attorney-client privilege. The Expert above is not your attorney, and the response above is not legal advice. You should not read this response to propose specific action or address specific circumstances, but only to give you a sense of general principles of law that might affect the situation you describe. Application of these general principles to particular circumstances must be done by a lawyer who has spoken with you in confidence, learned all relevant information, and explored various options. Before acting on these general principles, you should hire a lawyer licensed to practice law in the jurisdiction to which your question pertains.

The responses above are from individual Experts, not JustAnswer. The site and services are provided “as is”. To view the verified credential of an Expert, click on the “Verified” symbol in the Expert’s profile. This site is not for emergency questions which should be directed immediately by telephone or in-person to qualified professionals. Please carefully read the Terms of Service (last updated February 8, 2012).

Show MoreShow Less

Ask Your Question

x