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Who is responsible for the probate bill? Is it the executor of the will?

Schenectady, NY |

My husbands mother passed away and we probated the will. Her boyfriend who is the executor of the will wants us to pay the $400 bill to file the paperwork so it can be probated. Who is responsible for the bill? Also she had a couple of credit cards in her name same question. The only thing in the estate is a house that was left to my husband and his brother. They can't sell the house though even after the probate though because the boyfriend wants to live there and pay on the existing mortgage. He does not want to buy the house outright.

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Attorney answers 3


Usually the executor pays the fees and then gets reimbursed from the estate. The executor cannot hold the house hostage. If it is the only asset in the estate, and there are creditors, the estate will need to sell the house to pay the creditors and estate expenses.

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The executor pays the bills either with estate funds, or gets reimbursed by the estate. He cannot live in the property and pay the mortgage simply because he is the executor. Only the person named to receive the property under the will has rights to the property.


The estate is responsible for the bills. Sometimes people or the executor will loan money to the estate because of liquidity issues but they are then entitled to reimbursement. The will controls who gets what - so it has to be followed.

This is not legal advice nor intended to create an attorney-client relationship. The information provided here is informational in nature only. This attorney may not be licensed in the jurisdiction which you have a question about so the answer could be only general in nature. Visit Steve Zelinger's website: