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How do I prove a deceased person had no assets or estate?

Jacksonville, FL |

My brother passed away and had nothing...he had been living off of friends for years and not working. He had no vehicle, money, life insurance, 401(k), etc. The only thing he had was credit card debt. I have obtained death certificates and am sending certified letters to his debtors, but how can I prove he has no assets without it costing me money?

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Attorney answers 2


Its not your obligation to prove this. If the credit card companies want, they can open a probate and investigate for themselves. You are not responsible for your brother's debts, unless you co-signed for them.

David Goldman
Apple Law Firm PLLC
331 East Monroe Street
Jacksonville, FL 32202

Tel (904) 685-1200 Fax (904) 212-0678


I agree with David. Most creditors must file a claim in a probate proceeding within two years of the debtor's death. If they don't they don't get paid. If there is no probate proceeding, they can't file a valid claim. In my career, I've only seen one case where a creditor opened an estate (it was a bankruptcy trustee who filed a mulit-million dollar claim just in case any assets were discovered). Even if an estate is opened, the creditors don't get paid if your brother had not assets. It is admirable that you are trying to let the creditors know, but I don't think you have to spend a lot of your own money on something that is not your obligation.