My mother just passed away on May 5th. She did have a will but the executor is my deceased grandparents. My step father has numerous credit card bills and medical bills coming in. What is he legally responsible for paying? Does he have to go to probate? Please help me by telling me what he needs to do and if he has to pay her medical bills. They really dont have a savings. She only had a 401k, a life insurance policy to cover funeral expenses, and an annuity for my brother and I. Her house is very old and in bad condition to try to sell.
2 Answers from Attorneys
The court will admit the will to probate and then choose an executor. The executor will have to handle the final arrangement of the estate, such as paying off the creditors.
Assuming your stepfather was married to your mother, a large portion of the estate will not have to go through probate. The 401k and annuity may also have beneficiaries in place that prevent it from going through probate.
If the estate is small enough, the probate process may be limited to a small estate affidavit.
You probably want to do all of this formally with the assistance of a lawyer because, otherwise, the creditors may try to get at her assets like the 401k or house.
Feel free to contact me if you have any questions. firstname.lastname@example.org
If your mother's owes more than she possesses, you may want to reconsider whether you are interested in performing work, and very likely paying an attorney, if you will receive very little (or nothing) in the end. I strongly recommend that you find a lawyer who knows this area well and ask for a free consultation.
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