My father passed and had a mortgage on his home. It is in bad shape. He did not have a will. The only other asset my father had is a truck that was paid off and $1600 in the bank. I though about doing a small estate but do we have to include the home since he has a mortgage and has other hospital and credit card debts? We were hoping to not include the home and just let it foreclose since it is in bad shape and he owes almost as much as it's worth but wasn't sure if we have to wait and then depending on what it auctions for then know if we can do a small estate or have to open up formal probate. Can you help with this?
I am sorry for your loss. You really should consult with a North Carolina (if that's where your father was living before he died) Probate attorney, since the bank account and car equity may be subject to any deficiency on the home.
This answer does not form an attorney-client relationship, and is not legal advice. Only an attorney that has agreed to represent you may give you advice specific to your situation.
I have attached a link that provides some guidance on small estate affidavits in NC. It is recommended that you consult with a local lawyer if you have questions.
An attorney who works in the Probate arena can best advise you for local law. See Avvo.com under 'Find-A-Lawyer;, Good Luck to you!!
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If there is not enough between the bank account, the truck and any other assets to cover the debts (hospital bills etc.) then you will need to bring the house in to pay expenses, technically. This may put you over the limit to use a small estate and will also defeat the ease of use so a formal probate would be the way to go in that case. A probate attorney may be able to help you negotiate with debtors or make special arrangements with the clerk in order to keep the house out and make things a smoother transition for you. I am sorry for your loss and I hope that you resolve this quickly.
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