My girl friend recently passed away. We were not married but hold real estate in joint tenancy.

Asked 10 months ago - San Jose, CA

She has extensive credit card debt held in her name alone. What is the process for contacting the creditors. Can I send in a recent bill and state "Deceased"? Should I transfer my real estate holdings to me as individual owner so they cannot put a lien on the property (s)?

Attorney answers (5)

  1. Pardis Patrick Ashouri

    Contributor Level 17

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If joint tenants with right is survivorship then when she passed all her interest has passed on to you. You need to record affidavit of death of joint tenant on county in which property is located and good idea to contact title insurance company to issue endorsement as well.

    As far as her debts, it doesn't attach to you if your name was not on it and here estate representative will have to deal with it.

    You may want to consult with probate attorney just to make sure of other issues related to her probate if any should involve you. Good luck.

    In addition to AVVO's disclaimer, please note that by this answer no attorney client relationship is intended mor... more
  2. Athina Karamanlis Powers

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . you have a great advise from the previously answered attorney.
    you need to act fast in order not to have a lien on the property that is going to take time and money to clear up.

    Disclaimer:Attorney and Fraud Examiner.One of few that are Certified Fraud Examiners (CFE). The information... more
  3. Christine James

    Pro

    Contributor Level 19

    1

    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . The other attorney's are correct and yes you can return the bills with deceased on the envelopes. You may also want to call the creditor's and tell them she is deceased and give them the name of the parents or adult children who would be in charge of her estate. Otherwise the bill will likely keep coming.

  4. Mark Adrean Rodiles-Peterson

    Contributor Level 5

    Answered . The attorney advice here is solid, the title should be in your own name since joint tenancy passes title without the need for probate. You just need to file a form with the county assessor saying that the joint tenant is deceased. You can do this on your own, or an attorney can prepare this for you relatively inexpensively. It is ok to mail back the creditors with a note saying she is deceased.

    This is not legal advice nor is it intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided... more
  5. David Samuel Willig

    Contributor Level 10

    Answered . With respect to probate of her estate, the Supreme Court has held you must give notice to any known creditor, such as the credit card company, if, in fact, a probate of her estate is done.

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