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RayAnswers, Attorney
Category: Estate Law
Satisfied Customers: 42880
Experience:  Texas lawyer for 30 years in Estate law
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I live in New Jersey, and am the sole heir and "executor

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I live in New Jersey, and am the sole heir and "executor (Independent personal Representative)" for my mothers small estate which consists of a home that is more than $40K underwater with a reverse mortgage and minimal other assets in the home, essentially making the estate insolvent. Her will contains the following clauses:A. Power to Administer Estate. My Independent Personal Representative, with respect to my estate, in addition to other powers and authority granted by law or necessary or appropriate for proper administration, shall have the following rights, powers, and authority without order of court and without notice to anyone: to identify, gather, value, secure, manage and distribute assets, to maintain records, to settle and wind up business affairs, to pay just debts, to file necessary tax returns, to redirect mail, to cancel services, to establish trusts, and to carry out my wishes as set forth in this Will.
B. Independent Administration. My Independent Personal Representative shall have the right to administer my estate using "informal", "unsupervised", or "independent" probate or equivalent legislation designed to operate without unnecessary intervention by the probate court.I am interpreting that language to mean I can bypass formal probate. My plan is to execute a "Deed in Lieu of foreclosure" to settle with the reverse mortgage lender. However, they have made statements to the effect that I need official court "letters of testamentary" to settle the matter. There is no money in the estate to hire an attorney. Any advice would be appreciated.

Hi and welcome to JA. Ray here to help you today.Please bear with me a few moments while I review your question, conduct and prepare your response.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
No worries.. take as much time as you need. appreciate any guidance.

So here she died insolvent you let the house go, they will foreclose and take it back.It is not worth the filing fees to open probate just to deed in lieu it to them.You simply don't open probate here, they can foreclose and take it back.Estate is insolvent and there is nothing for them to get at.You just need to let this go here, no duty to open probate if no assets here that aren't underwater.Let the creditor deal with it.You have no personal liability for doing so.Bot***** *****ne they can just foreclose here, and you don't need to do anything more.

I appreciate the chance to help you today.sorry for your loss of loved one.Thanks again.

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Customer: replied 4 months ago.
That was the direction I was thinking but needed an expert validation. Greatly appreciate your response!