My mom has this life estate from her deceased husband. I would like to pay off the remaining mortgage, but am afraid of a possible lean against it and I would loose my investment/house, which I am living in too. Even with the mortgage paid off, she will not have enough assets to pay off the debts: she needs 24hrs care.
Obviously I do not have all the facts; however, why would you want to pay off the mortgage when your mother could pass away at anytime and then you would have only benefitted the remaindermen. Perhaps your are the remainderman and it would make sense but otherwise I would only pay that part of the mortgage that is necessary every month to assist your mother. The house should be protected by homestead statutes preventing a lien from general credit card debt. The house is subject to liens for taxes, mortgages and home repairs.
This answer does not constitute legal advice and does not create an attorney client relationship. The answer is for information purposes only and is based on the limited information you provided.
I have attached a link that discusses debt collection practices v. deceased parties in Florida. If you need further information it is recommended that you consult with local counsel.
You bring up many complex issues that are really too important to bring to a forum such as this. You should seek the advice of an estate planning attorney to determine what the best possible course of action would be for both you and your Mom. You mentioned she needs round-the-clock care - is she on disability or Medicaid? Has she considered filing for bankruptcy? These are all important questions upon which a skilled estate planning / disability attorney can offer advise.
My answer is of a general nature and should not be construed to be legal advice nor creating an attorney-client relationship. Carol Johnson Law Firm, P.A. practices in the area of Wills, Trusts, and Estates, Disability - with a particular focus on providing Special Needs Trusts and Planning for the care of disabled children and adults.
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