Would I be required to go to probate court if my husband left me his income property to pay off credit debt & overdue utilities?

Asked over 1 year ago - Covina, CA

He left behind a lot of credit debt and thousands in past due utilities on the rental property. Would I be able to continue making payments instead of selling the property? I was not on loan or title and he was sole owner

Is the below statement True to avoid probate for estates over $150k?
All assets that go to a surviving spouse, including any assets the person who died owned separately in his or her name but were left in the will or by intestate succession to the surviving spouse

Attorney answers (6)

  1. Stuart Gregory Steingraber

    Contributor Level 18

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Best Answer
    chosen by asker

    Answered . Probate is the process to transfer assets from the decedent to the beneficiaries. If there is no will, you still open a probate case so you can get the real estate in your name. You must continue making the payments if you want to avoid a foreclosure. Credit card debt and utilities on the rental are up to them to collect from the "estate" and they must file claims against the "estate". Contact a Probate attorney offering a free consultation by clicking on the Find a Lawyer on AVVO. Good luck.

  2. Brian Crozier Whitaker

    Contributor Level 17

    7

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Unfortunately, the $150k plateau is based on fair market value and not net equity. So if the income property is worth more than $150k (and he did not have a living trust) the estate should be probated.

  3. William Richardson Christian

    Contributor Level 12

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Probate is to transfer title to you. You will have to go through probate or some type of shorter process with the court (like a spousal property petition). See an estate planning attorney for help. You will need to transfer title to rent it, to sell it or to refinance it. Feel free to call me if you have questions. I live in Covina.

    The response to this question does NOT create an attorney client relationship and is an effort to provide a... more
  4. Charles Adam Shultz

    Contributor Level 19

    6

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . No, unless the property was in joint tenancy or a trust, probate will be necessary. You can continue paying the debts. As long as you can keep them current, you will be able avoid selling the property. The question become whether his debts were community property or separate property. If they were his separate debt and the debts exceed the liabilities, you may want to consider letting the property go.

    You should consult with a probate attorney.

    The general advice above does not constitute an attorney-client relationship: you haven't hired me or my firm or... more
  5. Gregory Paul Benton

    Contributor Level 20

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . There are too many variables to give you a definitive answer on your statement. But your husband's estate will need to be probated. It also depends on his children who have a right to claim any portion of this estate. You can only make the payments if you have authority to administer the estate and the property in the estate. You really need to see a probate attorney. My office can help.

  6. Erika L Yuen

    Contributor Level 9

    4

    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Aside from the issue of whether your husband's estate qualifies for one of the short cut procedures, a full probate may be the best option because in a full probate creditors have a fixed period in which to seek monies from your husband's estate. Also you need to be clear whether the credit card debt is separate or community debt. Whose name is on the card? Please consult a trust and estates lawyers to talk you through the pros and cons of all your options.

    Information provided on Avvo does not constitute legal advice, as it is general in nature and may not apply to... more

Related Topics

Bankruptcy

Bankruptcy is a legal way for people or businesses who are no longer capable of paying back their bills to clear these debts and start over.

Debt

There are different types of debt, but all involve one person (the debtor) owing money to another (the creditor). Terms of repayment are governed by a contract.

Can't find what you're looking for? Ask a Lawyer

Get free answers from experienced attorneys.

 

Ask now

24,735 answers this week

2,991 attorneys answering

Ask a Lawyer

Get answers from top-rated lawyers.

  • It's FREE
  • It's easy
  • It's anonymous

24,735 answers this week

2,991 attorneys answering