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Richard, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 55708
Experience:  29 years of experience practicing law, including tax and estate planning.
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Mother passed away 11/17/15 with no legal power of attorney.

Customer Question

Mother passed away 11/17/15 with no legal power of attorney. Father deceased in 2000.
Four surviving children. Does everything need to go through probate? Mother lived at home. Who pays the bills and how can house be sold. Assets were to be divided equally between the four kids. What now?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Good morning. My name is ***** ***** I look forward to helping you.

Can you provide me a bit more information? You mention your mother had no power of attorney, but, did she have a will? And, can you tell me the approximate value of her estate? Thanks.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
We found a copy of a will which nominated a friend, or 2nd, a financial institution in Colorado transferable to a "financial institution" in Kansas City MO (unnamed, to be determined). I contacted the friend, and he wants to defer all responsibility. My 2 sisters and brother were charged with finding a party to settle the other matters. There is a family trust held by Schwab. I was contacted by a representative and he told me this should not be a problem as we were ALL named as beneficiary's. The remainder is the house and contents estimated worth at $190,000.
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

Thanks for following up. I'm sorry for the delay in responding. Today was a travel day after Thanksgiving holiday. Thanks for your patience and I apologize for any inconvenience.

It would not have made any difference if there was a power of attorney as it would have terminated automatically upon your mom's death. Given the value of the house, the executor named in the will needs to file the will with the probate court so the court can issue official documentation giving the executor the authority to act on behalf of the estate. If the friend is named, then the friend would be that person unless the friend is unwilling or unable to serve. Once officially appointed, the executor would transfer title to the house to the 4 of you in equal undivided interests and then you 4 could decide what to do with the house. On the trust, the trust document will control and probate will not be necessary.

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