When debts and atty's fees exceed estate value how do you even get to probate? Alternatives?

Asked about 1 year ago - Spring, TX

I am named the executor and 100% beneficiary. However, the estate is worth less than $10,000. By the time i pay Atty Fees, debts, funeral, court fees. & so-on... i am out of pocket money. My mother was a cancer patient, medical expenses, credit card expenses; do i have to pay these becasue there is no money from estate to pay them?

Attorney answers (4)

  1. Paul A. Smolinski

    Pro

    Contributor Level 17

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . To stay out of trouble I would strongly suggest that you have a consultation with a local probate attorney to advise you what to do (or not to do). You obviously need to pay for your mother's funeral expenses but the rest, maybe not. I don't think that you will need to open a probate estate; however, since you are dealing in specifics to your situation go and meet with a local attorney.

    Good Luck!

    Legal Disclaimer: Paul A. Smolinski is licensed to practice law in the State of Illinois only, and as such, his... more
  2. Adam S. Bernick

    Contributor Level 13

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . You need to consult a local probate attorney in the state where your mother died, resided or owned land possibly to review her assets and list of creditors to determine what action to take. You should not under any circumstances agree to pay any creditors until you have spoke to local probate counsel. It is worth your time and effort to pay for a detailed consultation and review of the claims and assets to determine options.

  3. Adam Nelson Rieck

    Contributor Level 10

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . If you restrict your question just to paying for estate debts out of your own pocket, and not from estate assets, then no. Your mother's creditors cannot look to you just because you are related.

    The administration of your mother's estate is a different consideration, and you are going to need some help with it. There are some simpler procedures for small estates (less expensive), in Texas, but they have to fit the situation exactly or they will not work. Only a estate lawyer is going to be able to tell you if these apply and which one represents the best approach to this.

    The above comments are made by an attorney at The Rieck Law Firm (RLF). RLF offers free initial consultation to... more
  4. Gary Todd Dupler

    Pro

    Contributor Level 14

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . I agree with both of the answers by counsel on your question. There are priorities on what items are to be paid in an estate. Funeral expenses are usually at the top, with creditors placed somewhere in the pecking order. Your time and expenses in dealing with the estate are worthwhile. Consult with a local attorney sooner rather than later.

    This response is for informational purposes only and not for the purpose of providing legal advice. You should... more

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