Legal Question in Wills and Trusts in California

Upside Down Reverse Mortgage:Heir

Unmarried, no children, 64 yo cousin died and left a will naming a single cousin as executor and heir.

Two year old reverse mortgage owing 205K, house probably worth from 130-200K right now. Appraised at $315K 4/2007.

Heir has no personal assets to administer estate, was expecting to inherit car, sell it for expenses and walk away. Car was wrecked right before death and insurance check deposited in account. No cremation funds available except out of pocket. Probate at 200K estate unaffordable because of lack of assets, (all debt), deceased on MediCal, huge cancer expenses of about 1M, $15K credit card bill.

Household objects of value were forced sale by MediCal, lawyer who drew up the will suggests taking personal items and walking away.

Questions: Can the heir have a yard sale and take in the cash to pay for the cremation and expenses?

Is there any way to get the money from the wrecked car out of the bank account without doing probate? ($6500)

What month of the deceased's Social Security check has to be paid back since she died April 09?

Tax return had a refund but she died before it was signed and mailed.

Heir out of state cannot afford trips to execute this.

Asked on 4/12/09, 12:58 am

1 Answer from Attorneys

John Palley Meissner, Joseph, Palley & Ruggles, Inc.

Re: Upside Down Reverse Mortgage:Heir

The easiest thing would be to walk away. However, probate code 10360 may allow you to sell the house in probate and get an administrator's commission (about $5k or $6k) by reducing the mortgage. It's a lightly used code section but I believe it would work in your case. You should ask your attorney about it. Good luck. -John

Read more
Answered on 4/13/09, 10:57 am

Related Questions & Answers

More Probate, Trusts, Wills & Estates questions and answers in California