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RayAnswers
RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 42865
Experience:  Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law
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Im from Wisconsin , living in San Antonio, Tx ...problem I

Customer Question

im from Wisconsin , living in San Antonio, Tx ...problem I was named the Executor from my Mom & Stepdad...Mom past in 03/13...stepfather just past in 04/22/15. I have his stepdaughter battling with me on whats hers ... Even though the will has me as the Executor I need to get going with the paperwork from the courts... Here's the twist: stepdad-names the beneficiary a new girlfriend of 6-8mos ....100% all of his investments...yes, REALLy ...but I ended up paying the funeral costs of $12k, because I found out from the investors he named this lady the Beneficiary. His rest of his estate may be worth less than $50, he's in the rears with home of $58k two refinance owed, and the value of the house in the area he lives is less than 25k. THe only other items worth value paid for is Lexus 05', which stepdaughter has made hers, without consent & home fixtures stove,frigerator,and furnite maybe worth $8-10k. The investment was chg'd from Life to Annuity for $165k, and her name as POD for bank accounts totaling $11k. Problem is the girlfriend doesnt know his SSAN, or have the Original Death Certificate I do...So Do I proceed as Formal or Informal ...Because she is age 62, and if I dont do Probate and she past or dies tommorrow I should recover the Estate...yes
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 2 years ago.
Hi and welcome to JA. I am Ray and will be the expert helping you today.
I think you should apply here for formal probate.You as executor have priority here for payment of funeral expenses and your executor fees and lawyer fees.
This will likely eat up most of the estate.Your travel here would be a legitimate expense as well.You would once appointed be able to reimburse yourself for all of this.
Law on priority..
859.25 Priority of payment of claims and allowances.
(1)CLASSES AND PRIORITY.
At the time of their allowance, all
claims and allowances shall be classified in one of the following
classes.
If the applicable assets of the estate are insufficient to pay all
claims and allowances in full, the personal representative shall
make payment in the following order:
(a) Costs and expenses of administration.
(b) Reasonable funeral and burial expenses.
(c)Provisions for the family of the decedent under ss.
861.31,861.33 and 861.35.
(d)
Reasonable and necessary expenses of the last sickness of
the decedent, including
compensation of persons attending the decedent.
(e)
All debts,charges or taxes owing to the United States, this
state or a governmental subdivision or municipality of this state.
(f)Wages, including pension, welfare and vacation benefits,due to employees which have been earned within 3 months before
the date of the death of the decedent, not to exceed
$300 in value to each employee.
(g)
Property assigned to the surviving spouse or surviving
domestic partner under s.861.4.
(h) All other claims allowed.
(2)NO PREFERENCE WITHIN CLASSES.
Preference shall not be given in the payment of any claim over any other claim of the same
class,nor shall a claim due and payable be entitled to a preference
over claims not due.
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 2 years ago.
I wanted to add this, you may decide whether this is going to be contested in which case you file formal probate.If no contest is anticipated informal probate is cheaper and faster.
Reference.
Informal
Informal probate is the most common probate administration method here in Wisconsin, as it is generally faster and thereby cheaper. Instead of being administered by a probate judge, informal probate is conducted by the register in probate.
When the probate process has begun, there are many pleadings that must be filed. Creditors must be notified of the proceedings, potential heirs must be notified, etc.
Formal
Though formal probate involves more court involvement, it is necessary in certain situations. If the beneficiaries are contesting a will, there are more debts than there are assets, or if there are problems with getting a personal representative appointed, formal probate may be the only option, as a probate judge will need to rule on these matters.You may want to defer to the lawyer here and have him decide which is best for you.
I appreciate the chance to help you tonight.Please let me know if you have more follow up.Thanks again.
Expert:  RayAnswers replied 2 years ago.
More for you about informal probate.
https://www.wicourts.gov/services/public/selfhelp/docs/probateguide.pdf
Again you will need the lawyer here if formal probate is required and it sounds like there may be a contest, lost assets , etc.so I think the lawyer would go this way to resolve all of this.
Thanks again I know this is frustrating for you.
JA will email you our chat and these references once you positive rate.