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Billing an Estate

Reno, NV |

Hello all. Forgive me if this is a stupid question, but this is my first time dealing with such a problem. I am looking to reclaim monies spent on cremating my mother and her urn. Basically, to make a long story short, she died in January, and my Step-Father, who survived her, just died this past June 7th. He "inherited" her 401k pension, but was not able to cash it before his death. The pension check now goes to his estate, of course, but I have been told I might have a chance at reclaiming the debt I incurred from my mom's cremation and urn if I bill the estate. However, I do not understand how that might be done.

If it makes any difference, both died in California. His youngest blood daughter is trying to take over executor of his estate.

Thank you!

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Attorney answers 2

Best Answer

You are a creditor of your mother's estate, not your stepfather's. The community estate of your mother and stepfather would be liable for the funeral expenses. If an estate has, or will be opened, you will have four months from the date of the appointment of the administrator/executor in which to file a claim. It might be worth looking at the terms of the 401k to see what is provided upon the death of the principal and the subsequent death of the beneficiary. Some times there are specific provisions as to who succeeds to the fund..

DISCLAIMER: The response herein is not legal advice and does not create an attorney/client relationship or any right of confidentiality between you and the responding attorney. These responses are intended only to provide general information about perceived legal issues within the question. Each state has different laws, each situation is fact specific, and it is impossible to evaluate a legal problem without a comprehensive consultation and review of all the facts and documents at issue. This answer is not a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed attorney that practices in the subject area in your jurisdiction and who is familiar with your specific facts and all of the circumstances


I'm sorry for your loss. While each state has its own specific rules, every state has a process whereby creditors of the estate can make a claim against the estate and its assets. You are a creditor and should contact your stepsister, but also take the precaution of contacting the probate court in the county where they lived and ask about how to file a claim. If you cannot get the information you need, you may need to consult with a California lawyer to find out how to file the claim. Good luck.

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My comments are not intended to establish an attorney-client relationship, are not confidential, and are not intended to constitute legal advice. Proper legal advice can only be given by an attorney who agrees to represent you, who reviews the facts of your specific case, who does not have a conflict of interest preventing the representation, and who is licensed as an attorney in the state where the law applies.

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