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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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My son, age 34, passed away 2 weeks ago. He left no will. We

Customer Question

My son, age 34, passed away 2 weeks ago. He left no will. We know that he has credit card debts, as well as a new car note. That note is approximately 1 year old with 4 years to go. He did not opt for the life insurance that was offered. I need to know how to become appointed as administrator of his estate, and who and in what order I will need to pay to clear his debts. His estate and savings are minimal.
Thank you, ***** *****
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Estate Law
Expert:  Richard replied 1 year ago.

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

First, let me tell you how sorry I am for the loss of your son. I have three children of my own and can only imagine what a difficult time this must be for you. I will certainly keep you in my prayers!

With regard to your specific question, you can avoid probate through the use of a Small Estate Affidavit if your son's estate is valued under $20,000. If you call the court clerk, the clerk can provide you the form for the Affidavit.

With regard to the payment of your son's debts: i) the car debt is a secured debt, so you can simply call the lender and let them know your son has died and they can take the car back pursuant to their lien; and ii) with regard to the other debts (including any deficiency between the amount owed on the car and the value), if there is no remaining money after paying the expenses of the estate, including all funeral costs, you can simply send them a letter letting them know of the death of your son (include a copy of the death certificate) and that the estate had no funds available after paying the estate administration expenses to pay the debt. That will be the end of this for as the creditors will simply have to write off the debt. You have no personal liability for these debts.

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