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Bills left from someone who has passed on

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Bills left from someone who has passed on

Old 02-02-17, 01:50 AM
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Bills left from someone who has passed on

I assumed as my mom's beneficiary and such, I am responsible for bills she left behind.

Someone told me I don't have to pay them all. Funeral expenses, yes. Medical, no

They said as my mom and dad had a joint checking account, they could at most take half of what's there if I refused to pay a bill.

She stayed 3 months in the summertime at a nursing facility, the bill is around $1200. I've been paying $100 or so at a time, to avoid interest and keep them happy...

If I told them she is deceased would that change anything? What could I or should I, do??
Old 02-02-17, 01:52 AM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

Call a probate attorney. You are not responsible for her bills, her estate is. And sorry about your mom.
Old 02-02-17, 03:03 AM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

Be very glad the bill was only $1200. Without insurance, 3-month stay at a nursing home could have been $120,000.

If her estate doesn't have $1200 in either tangible or intangible assets, then there is no way that they can collect, and you are not responsible.

Hiring a probate lawyer may cost $1200 alone, so be careful there.
Old 02-02-17, 07:22 AM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

Yep. Should go thru the estate. My mom passed summer of 15 and set up an estate. A notice has to be posted and collectors have 6-9 months depending on state law to submit cliams. As a bonus it has to be addressed to the estate of X. Cant collect legally from a dead person. Dodged many a hospital bills that way.
Old 02-02-17, 07:29 AM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

Yeah, you're not responsible for the bills, but the estate probably is.

Don't pay for anything out of your "own" pocket...not even $1, or then you WILL be responsible for them.
Old 02-02-17, 11:22 PM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

Originally Posted by Rex Power Colt-Robot Man View Post
Cant collect legally from a dead person. Dodged many a hospital bills that way.
Wouldn't it have been easier to just get healthy again?
Old 02-03-17, 12:55 PM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

Originally Posted by chrisih8u View Post
Call a probate attorney. You are not responsible for her bills, her estate is. And sorry about your mom.
This
Old 02-04-17, 02:53 AM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

Call me ignorant, but what estate?
Old 02-04-17, 05:34 AM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

Are you asking what an estate is or saying she has no estate?

If she had nothing...the estate has nothing. If she had some money in the bank, assets such as a car or house...then those belong to the estate and the bills would come out of that after liquidation.

You are not responsible for her bills and as has been suggested, call a probate attorney.

And I'm also sorry for your loss Good luck. Unfortunately I know I'll be dealing with this in the upcoming years, my parents are in their late 70's and health is declining.
Old 02-04-17, 08:57 AM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

Sorry for your loss


The bills must be paid if your mom had enough money or property to pay them. You do not have to pay them out of your own pocket.

Originally Posted by JP5683 View Post
Call me ignorant, but what estate?
Look at it this way. When your mom was alive, her name was Mrs. JP5683, and the Fed Gov, State Gov, and local Gov and all other entities including the courts legally had possession of anything she owned or debt she accumulated assigned to a SSN in the name of Mrs. JP5683


When she passed, all those same entities now assign her wealth and debt to "The Estate of Mrs. JP5683" and the executor has to apply for an EIN number to replace her SSN number.

In most states, as the executor, you have to provide a will and a death certificate to the local probate office. You sign a statement at the probate office saying that you will file her taxes, pay her bills, and then settle what is left of the Estate per the deceased wishes (usually a Will, but not necessarily).

The executor MUST apply for an EIN for the Estate
and you must file a final federal tax return for the deceased (and also state)

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small...turn-form-1041


DO NOT FUCK AROUND WITH THIS MY FRIEND!

If you are really unable to learn how to process all this, hire someone.
Be careful what you say to anyone about property that once belonged to Mrs. JP5683. Even giving a toaster to the neighbor without it being properly accounted for on the Estate is a problem.

I will try to keep an eye on this thread. I just went through this a little over 2 years ago with my mother. I processed about 90% of it myself as the executor. My mom owned a house, a car, had investments, etc so I went through a good bit. The other 10% of the estate processing I hired her long term accountant to help me figure out. He knew everything about her finances, he had been her accountant for 10 + years and the moneyh I paid him was very well spent.

Probate attorneys will cost you a fortune and are not necessary in some states. If possible, I recommend the accountant method and doing most of it on your own.

Just remember ***YOU*** cannot just take anything that your mom owned and call it yours. It just doesn't work like that, there is process.


To anyone still reading with aging parents (like FiveO) Do everything you possible can to avoid a reading of the will and processing via probate court. The simple solution to the entire problem is to have your parents set an official beneficiary on everything they own (this is not done in the Will).

For example, move all their money into an investment account at say Vanguard, fill out the beneficiary form at Vanguard in your name. Upon death, you send Vanguard a copy of the death certificate, and like magic that beneficiary form kicks in and the beneficiary owns everything the next day. NO probate, and that method supersedes the Will.

Wills are next to worthless in this day and age, they are only relied on when nothing else exists.

Joint accounts are a good idea too, but can get sticky in some states. Probate court will want to know who deposited money into those accounts, not just who the joint owners are.

Anyway, its complicated, if the above looks overwhelming to you at all, hire someone. I have a bit of a financial background and was able to figure it all out (down the penny accounting for probate that my court required too)
Old 02-04-17, 09:58 AM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

^ My parents had a trust set up, and it worked very well. My mom's landlord wanted money for mom breaking her lease, due to death. It turned out that was legal in CA, but with no estate, she had no one to sue. Maybe we were assholes, but the landlord knew mom was terminally ill, and wanting several months rent seemed greedy.

Sorry for your loss.
Old 02-04-17, 06:32 PM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

Originally Posted by 4KRG View Post
In most states, as the executor, you have to provide a will and a death certificate to the local probate office. You sign a statement at the probate office saying that you will file her taxes, pay her bills, and then settle what is left of the Estate per the deceased wishes (usually a Will, but not necessarily).
All sound advice, but I'm not quite clear on whether JP5683 is actually the executor or not, he never says so, unless he misspoke and that is what he meant when he said that he was the beneficiary. If someone else if the executor, then none of this is any of JP5683's concern (unless that executor happens to be another relative and he wants to share this sound advice).

You said that your mom and dad had a joint checking account. Is your dad still living? Were they still married at the time of her death? I'm not so sure about this advice you got about any joint checking account.
Old 02-06-17, 02:42 AM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

Originally Posted by tasha99 View Post
^ My parents had a trust set up, and it worked very well. My mom's landlord wanted money for mom breaking her lease, due to death. It turned out that was legal in CA, but with no estate, she had no one to sue. Maybe we were assholes, but the landlord knew mom was terminally ill, and wanting several months rent seemed greedy.

Sorry for your loss.
In CA you can sue someone for breaking their lease due to death?
Old 02-06-17, 09:06 AM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

Originally Posted by fujishig View Post
In CA you can sue someone for breaking their lease due to death?
I would imagine you can do it in other states. It probably boils down to how the lease is worded. It's a business and loss of income is loss of income even if the circumstances are tragic.
Old 02-07-17, 11:53 AM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

Yeah, in CA the contract is still good and needs to be paid by the estate. There was no estate though, so mom got out of it. Would a landlord really sue for it? Probably not, but in this case, there was no one to sue. I guess it kind of makes sense, but it was a real sore spot at the time for me because it felt like her landlord lacked compassion. If it had been me, I would have paid a month or two to help the landlord transition to a new tenant, but my brother was the one in charge and he wasn't having any of it.
Old 02-09-17, 10:29 AM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

Ran into this shit when my grandfather died. He had a ton in credit card debt because he was pretty much taking care of his kids his entire life.
Old 02-09-17, 04:32 PM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

The process is usually sell off the assets that aren't being given away by the will, cash in any CDs, bonds or insurance policies. Then the estate pays the funeral costs, and takes out a legal ad that is a notice to debtors and creditors. They have a period of time to contact the estate and request payment that she is owed, and after that the estate can distribute funds per any will that is left.

The notice to debtors and creditors is important. I inherited a condo from my grandmother, and 2 years after she died the homeowners association contacted me saying that I owed $700 in back dues from before I owned the place. After talking to the attorney that handled the estate he told me that they should of contacted the estate prior to now and at this point they legally they couldn't collect anything.

You probably don't want to hear this, but hiring a probate attorney is probably the best thing to do. And if costs is an issue, they can be paid from the estate.
Old 02-09-17, 07:19 PM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

This process does take some time. Creditors are usually given 6-9 months to make clams against the estate.
Old 02-09-17, 08:26 PM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

Originally Posted by tasha99 View Post
^ My parents had a trust set up, and it worked very well. My mom's landlord wanted money for mom breaking her lease, due to death. It turned out that was legal in CA, but with no estate, she had no one to sue. Maybe we were assholes, but the landlord knew mom was terminally ill, and wanting several months rent seemed greedy.

Sorry for your loss.
Man that's cold
Old 02-11-17, 02:57 AM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

My mom and dad had a joint checking account all their marriage. They added me to the account 3 years ago so I could sign checks to pay for rent and such if needed.

No car. no investments. No credit cards. Just SSI. There was about 2 grand in the checking account when she passed. I also have it connected to my checking, my savings and another (25 grand) savings in my name, that was money that my dad received when his mother passed 5 years ago.

I used a good portion of the large savings to pay for the funeral, plot, obituary, facility to have service, etc etc.

My mom had many health issues and had 3 small insurance policies. About 15 grand total.

my dad was beneficiary on 2 policies. I was on one. the one I was, has yet to pay, the other two have paid.

Applied for my dad to get survivor's benefits. My mom got a higher Social Security check than my dad, cause my dad worked for many years for the University of California at Santa Barbara, and I was told because of his pension, the SSI is small.

My landlord sent a letter yesterday. Rent going up $200 April 1st.

My parents have been only getting the Social Security and my dad's pension since they both retired. They were told they didn't have to file taxes for the last few years that they wouldn't get much back, let the government keep it.
Old 02-11-17, 12:47 PM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

So who is the executor of the estate? I assumed it was you
Old 02-13-17, 09:23 AM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

I'm guessing chrisih8u was using "estate" generically.....I think.

My sis handled this part and she/we ever had to do was present a copy of the death certificate (there was a bit more involved of course but I didn't handle that part).
Old 02-14-17, 02:53 AM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

I have taken care of everything so far. No brothers or sisters. My aunts (dads sisters) helped a little with the funeral arrangements.
Old 02-14-17, 04:37 PM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

This is a little off the subject but still important. I can't stress enough the importance of planning ahead. My parents had wills, but my mom waited until my dad passed before she decided to protect her money in the event she goes into a nursing home. Too late. Any preparations need to be made 5 years in advance.

If your parents or you want to protect assets for children in the event of long term nursing care it must be done at least five years before being admitted. If not you pay an attorney five figures to protect a portion. IF you want the kids to get the proceeds from the house, get it in their name now. My stupid mother-in-law keeps saying they need to do that but she's 80, he's 84 and both have health issues. Probably way too late.

Power of attorney is not enough. POA goes away upon death. Get your name on the bank account so you have proof of ownership well in advance.

Have beneficiaries. Although I disagree with the statement that a will doesn't mean much, having a beneficiary on all the accounts is crucial too. Any investment, or savings account can have a designated beneficiary so get the names on them.

Before you build an in-law apartment for an elderly parent, think of how long they may last. My mother spent $35,000 building an in-law apartment at my sisters house. We thought it would be great. She lasted about 4 months before going into assisted living. After going into a nursing home 5 months after that, we had to hire an attorney to fight with Medicaid that the $35,000 was not a gift but a reimbursement. We didn't have to pay it back but now my sister has a fancy apartment on her house that does no one any good and adds no value to the home. In fact it can be a detriment in some cases because some of the space was taken from the garage. I have two neighbors who both spent big money on additions for parents that never even got to move in.
Old 02-14-17, 08:13 PM
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Re: Bills left from someone who has passed on

after my father saw how his mother deteriorated with dementia and alzheimer's, and how he had to foot the bill for a lot of it, they went out and purchased care insurance for like 3-5 years each. that way, if it does happen like my grandmother, we won't have to struggle to deal with it.

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