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Lawdoctor, Lawyer
Category: Legal
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Experience:  22+ years legal practice including corporate, business, criminal, entertainment and litigation
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The father of my five children has passed suddenly at the age

Resolved Question:

The father of my five children has passed suddenly at the age of 52. He had no will. He had no ones name on anything the home, auto, death benefits, insurance and etc. We had been divorced for some time and all of the children are over 18 some still in college. I paid for the funeral and trying to help the children in making the best decision.

He had two mortgages on the home and credit card debts. We are having the home appraised this week. However, we're not sure it is worth what he owes. They have not filled with probate yet. This is the thing with the estate do the creditors go after the home first and credit cards last?
Also, my son has a collector car that is in his fathers name, he never had it changed over will my son lose this car? Can he get this switched over without it being a problem?
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Lawdoctor replied 7 years ago.

Thank you for allowing me to assist you with your question.

Your question is very important to me, but please remember that I can only respond to the information you provide and I do not know your entire situation. My response is limited to what you have written to me and the answer may change with additional facts.

Also, due to site reasons, there are times I am initially only able to see a portion of post, so I apologize in advance if it means that you have to duplicate information.

There may be future facts that are as yet undetermined in your matter, that can and must leave some areas of information provided by me broad in nature. However, don't hesitate to ask for clarification if needed! At times, there can also be a delay of an hour or more in between my answers because I may be helping other customers or taking a break. Now, let’s address your question!

I am very sorry of your family's loss. It makes more difficult that there is not a Will to provide direction for the estate. Since you are divorced and he was not married at the time of his death, his estate would pass to his children. Because there is significant debts owed, I strongly encourage you and your children to file Intestate Probate so that the Court can handle the distribution of the assets to the creditors and the heirs and so that the heirs (your children) are not held liable for the debts.

Here is a link to Wayne County Probate Court, which has a lot of information that will be of use to you.

To take a look at the chart, click on "Information" in the blue navigator bar under the header. Click on the "Frequently Asked Questions" link and then scroll to a link called "Michigan Intestate Succession under EPIC." Click on it and the chart will appear. Take a look at it and you can see who takes. I would also encourage you view the entire site so that you can educate yourself on what is in store for you and your family.

One more thing, make sure no of you signs for any debts for your ex husband as you then become liable regardless of probate. Do not let creditors or bill collectors guilt any of you into assuming responsibility for a debt you do not owe.

So far as the car is concerned, if it was titled in your son's name prior to death, he will have to prove to the probate court that is was in fact his and that it should not be included in the estate.

I wish you the best.

Thank you again for trusting us with your problem. Good luck and Godspeed.

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