My husband's sister died in NH in 2005. She died intestate. He is only surviving sibling, there are estranged nephews (from a previously deceased sibling). She had medical debts at the time - obviously unpaid. We paid cremation costs. She left behind funds in a pension account in NJ. If we file probate now (8 years after fact) would this just open things up to pay the debt? It is also possible she left a bank account in NH. We do not live in NH
1 Answer from Attorneys
Unfortunately, this question does not have a single answer. Generally, if a creditor knows that there are assets and takes no action for such a long period of time, it can be contended that they have let their claim lapse. As to who inherits, I would need more information as to the full structure of the family. With regard to the pension, was there a named beneficiary? If so, that might have an impact on the outcome. As to your payment of cremation and related costs, those are priority claims to be paid before any creditor claims, so you do have the potential to recover your expenses. As to the NH bank account, it may have been paid over to the State if no one has made a claim in 8 years. The only way to know is to research the information with the bank and with the State records.