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  1. #1
    drumhead23us's Avatar
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    A question for all you jumbo-mortgage carrying, Infinity-driving masterminds.

    A friend of mine's husband passed away last year. He had pretty substantial credit card debt. Had a Jeep that he'd just bought and owed quite a bit on. Had a house worth roughly $120K that he only owed about $30K on. The deceased's mother is trying to force my friend into a probate. I have no idea what this means. Essentially, all of his creditors are going to converge on his estate (such as it is) and gobble up whatever equity he has in the house, right? If there is any remaining, it will go to my friend and their two kids.

    The other question is about his debt. If anything goes unpaid - say, for instance, if they don't do a probate - will any of his debt come back on her? The credit cards were established before they met, and none of the purchases were beneficial to her. She didn't benefit from the car as she had her own, and the house was purchased well before they met, and she is nowhere on any of the paperwork...or so she says.

    Sooooo yeah. What say you?

    TL;DR version: is a widow responsible for her dead husband's debt?

  2. #2
    smot poker's Avatar
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    Obligatory pics request.
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  3. #3
    did the deceased have a will?
    the mother in law cannot "force" anyone into a probate....
    the court will make sure all of the deceased creditors are paid from the proceeds of the estate....

  4. #4
    She's only responsible for his debt if she's on it. Also, if I were her and she's not on the debt, do not make any payment to any creditor, no matter the size, i.e., she says oh it's a small medical bill, I'll send them $20 a month. Here in MS she would then assume responsibility for said debt.

    And no, MIL can't force anyone into probate. And why would she want to? What's she trying to do?

  5. #5
    drumhead23us's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 87sooner View Post
    did the deceased have a will?
    the mother in law cannot "force" anyone into a probate....
    the court will make sure all of the deceased creditors are paid from the proceeds of the estate....
    Originally Posted by texasblonde View Post
    She's only responsible for his debt if she's on it. Also, if I were her and she's not on the debt, do not make any payment to any creditor, no matter the size, i.e., she says oh it's a small medical bill, I'll send them $20 a month. Here in MS she would then assume responsibility for said debt.

    And no, MIL can't force anyone into probate. And why would she want to? What's she trying to do?
    That's the part I didn't understand. I can't imagine why she wants to try to force a probate, as she would gain nothing from it, or at least, that's what I understood. I told her the same thing about making payments and assuming responsibility. She basically stopped making payments on anything that he owed on.

  6. #6
    I understand wife not being on mortgage but is she by any chance on the dead with rights of survivorship? The ideal situation is for her to get the house transferred into her name without going through probate at all and his creditors can screw off.

  7. #7
    Originally Posted by drumhead23us View Post
    That's the part I didn't understand. I can't imagine why she wants to try to force a probate, as she would gain nothing from it, or at least, that's what I understood. I told her the same thing about making payments and assuming responsibility. She basically stopped making payments on anything that he owed on.
    the mil has no business sticking her nose into it unless she wants part of the estate....or unless she's worried creditors might come after her....
    there may be other reasons i can't imagine.....

    his creditors will be given the opportunity to make their claims to his estate to the judge...

  8. #8
    Originally Posted by texasblonde View Post
    I understand wife not being on mortgage but is she by any chance on the dead with rights of survivorship? The ideal situation is for her to get the house transferred into her name without going through probate at all and his creditors can screw off.
    you can't just go around transferring dead peoples' assets into your name

  9. #9
    Originally Posted by 87sooner View Post
    you can't just go around transferring dead peoples' assets into your name
    You can if you're on the deed and have rights of survivorship, you can here anyway.

    You also can't be forced by anyone, including creditors, to probate an estate, if everything is left to her in the will.
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  10. #10
    smot poker's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by texasblonde View Post
    You can if you're on the deed and have rights of survivorship, you can here anyway.

    You also can't be forced by anyone, including creditors, to probate an estate.
    TB, meet 87.
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  11. #11
    Is she on the title to the house? If so, did they have joint tenancy with rights of survivorship?

    If she is in title but not as joint tenants, then she owns 1/2 and his estate owns 1/2. If she was in title and it was a joint tenancy, then all his interest in the home at the time of death goes automatically to her.

    If she is not in title to the real estate, she does not own the home, his estate does. His estate will need to be probated to determine which of his heirs get the property. Here in Kansas, you have six months after the date of death to file a Petition to Probate the estate. If after 6 months, then a Determination of Descent will need to be done to determine which heirs receive the property of the deceased.

    Also, a problem she may run into, the creditors could file liens against the estate, which could end up attaching to the real estate. If she were to ever to try to sell the home, the liens would be need to either satisfied or the property released from the liens.

  12. #12
    DIB's Avatar
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    Did his mother co-sign any of his debt? Maybe she is afraid that she will get stuck with a portion of his remaining debt.

  13. #13
    Originally Posted by DIB View Post
    Did his mother co-sign any of his debt? Maybe she is afraid that she will get stuck with a portion of his remaining debt.
    This is why my kid will be on his own from day one.

  14. #14
    Originally Posted by texasblonde View Post
    You can if you're on the deed and have rights of survivorship, you can here anyway.

    You also can't be forced by anyone, including creditors, to probate an estate.
    he said she claims to "not be on any of the paperwork".....for the house...

    and yes...i know creditors/relatives don't "force" probates....
    the state does that.....

  15. #15
    Originally Posted by 87sooner View Post
    he said she claims to "not be on any of the paperwork".....for the house...

    and yes...i know creditors/relatives don't "force" probates....
    the state does that.....
    I skipped over that part. My bad.

    Here the state can't force it either. My co-worker's husband died last year and because she was on the house and was left everything in the will, she didn't probate and his medical creditors couldn't do a thing to her or his estate as there was no probate, no estate existed.

  16. #16
    drumhead23us's Avatar
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    OK. I know she's not on the title, and I don't even think she was on the rights of survivorship thing, even though I didn't think that was possible in OK. Maybe that's just if the married couple buys a house together?

    So what I'm hearing is that it's up to her to decide to do the probate thing. What happens if she doesn't? The bank just takes the house and the car, etc.?

    Also, his life insurance paid out a hefty sum, so she's set. She doesn't need the house or anything else.

  17. #17
    Medical providers in MS are tricky. They like to just start calling you up telling you that your dead spouse's account is also your account and most people don't know any better and start paying on it and they they got ya.

  18. #18
    I think it's very nice of you to console and assist this recent widow. You are a true gentleman.

  19. #19
    Originally Posted by texasblonde View Post
    This is why my kid will be on his own from day one.
    You're not even going to breast feed?

  20. #20
    Originally Posted by drumhead23us View Post
    OK. I know she's not on the title, and I don't even think she was on the rights of survivorship thing, even though I didn't think that was possible in OK. Maybe that's just if the married couple buys a house together?

    So what I'm hearing is that it's up to her to decide to do the probate thing. What happens if she doesn't? The bank just takes the house and the car, etc.?

    Also, his life insurance paid out a hefty sum, so she's set. She doesn't need the house or anything else.
    If she is not on the title to the house, she doesn't own it. Is she on the mortgage?

  21. #21
    Did he leave a will and does he have minor children?

  22. #22
    KCRuf/Nek's Avatar
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    So has a lawyer actually responded yet or is the usual LT experts?

    Originally Posted by smot poker View Post
    Obligatory pics request.
    Of the widow or the MIL?

  23. #23
    Originally Posted by texasblonde View Post
    I skipped over that part. My bad.

    Here the state can't force it either. My co-worker's husband died last year and because she was on the house and was left everything in the will, she didn't probate and his medical creditors couldn't do a thing to her or his estate as there was no probate, no estate existed.

    i'm pretty sure estates have to go thru probate in oklahoma....
    to protect creditors/assets...

  24. #24
    McRib's Avatar
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    Drum where does your friend live? I'm not going to wade through all of this to find out.

  25. #25
    drumhead23us's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by kssooner View Post
    If she is not on the title to the house, she doesn't own it. Is she on the mortgage?
    No. I looked that over and it's just him. He bought it before they even knew each other. I was pretty sure she had zero claim to it, but was confused about what a probate is/what it does.

    Originally Posted by texasblonde View Post
    Did he leave a will and does he have minor children?
    A will I don't know, but yes. One biological daughter that is 16-17ish, and my friend's kid, who she had previous to their meeting, that he adopted as his own legally. As far as I know, my friend and the two daughters are each entitled to 1/3 of whatever there is. That's why I was so puzzled by the MIL's insistence on being involved.

  26. #26
    KCRuf/Nek's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 87sooner View Post
    i'm pretty sure estates have to go thru probate in oklahoma....
    to protect creditors/assets...
    If your in laws are as loaded as you claim you ought to know where every penny of that shit is going. You should know the law in your sleep.

  27. #27
    drumhead23us's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by McRib View Post
    Drum where does your friend live? I'm not going to wade through all of this to find out.
    She's in OK. Moore specifically.

    Hold your jokes, please. I live like a block away from her.

  28. #28
    Originally Posted by drumhead23us View Post
    No. I looked that over and it's just him. He bought it before they even knew each other. I was pretty sure she had zero claim to it, but was confused about what a probate is/what it does.



    A will I don't know, but yes. One biological daughter that is 16-17ish, and my friend's kid, who she had previous to their meeting, that he adopted as his own legally. As far as I know, my friend and the two daughters are each entitled to 1/3 of whatever there is. That's why I was so puzzled by the MIL's insistence on being involved.
    if there is not will...a judge will decide who's entitled to what

  29. #29
    Originally Posted by 87sooner View Post
    i'm pretty sure estates have to go thru probate in oklahoma....
    to protect creditors/assets...
    I know my co-worker got lucky here. She had creditors asking her when his estate was going to be probated and she said never. MD Anderson received a million dollar cap from his insurance company, he still died of cancer and then they wanted their last $7,000. She told them to **** off and they were stuck. Her situation was ideal (minus the dead husband), everything jointly owned, no kids, everything left to her in will. She had to do nothing but have his name removed from everything and that was just a matter of producing a death certificate.

  30. #30
    Originally Posted by KCRuf/Nek View Post
    So has a lawyer actually responded yet or is the usual LT experts?



    Of the widow or the MIL?
    not an attorney here, but I am in the title insurance business so that is where I am coming from.

  31. #31
    McRib's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by drumhead23us View Post
    She's in OK. Moore specifically.

    Hold your jokes, please. I live like a block away from her.
    I think Judge Bonner still does the probates in Cleveland County. I will PM you the name/info for one of my attorney friends down there.

  32. #32
    Technically anyone can be their own lawyer, it only requires basic research skills. Shhh don't tell the kids dropping 150k on their degree though.
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  33. #33
    Originally Posted by McRib View Post
    I think Judge Bonner still does the probates in Cleveland County. I will PM you the name/info for one of my attorney friends down there.

    why would he want a bloodsucking attorney?

  34. #34
    Originally Posted by KCRuf/Nek View Post
    If your in laws are as loaded as you claim you ought to know where every penny of that shit is going. You should know the law in your sleep.
    my parents and mother in law have wills.....i'm not worried about the law.......

  35. #35
    McRib's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 87sooner View Post
    why would he want a bloodsucking attorney?
    She probably doesn't want a bloodsucking attorney, but she might want to ask a few questions of someone who knows the Oklahoma law.

  36. #36
    Originally Posted by 87sooner View Post
    why would he want a bloodsucking attorney?
    probably because her husband's estate is in limbo, there is a mortgage on the house that she has been paying since the husband died and that if she ever wants to sell the property, or even keep it, his estate is going to have to be probated, or a determination of descent done, before it can be sold or so she can be the legal owner.

  37. #37
    Originally Posted by kssooner View Post
    probably because her husband's estate is in limbo, there is a mortgage on the house that she has been paying since the husband died and that if she ever wants to sell the property, or even keep it, his estate is going to have to be settled before it can be done or so she can be the legal owner.

    and you don't need an attorney for any of that....

  38. #38
    Originally Posted by 87sooner View Post
    and you don't need an attorney for any of that....
    you're a fool if you try to do it by yourself.

  39. #39
    McRib's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 87sooner View Post
    and you don't need an attorney for any of that....
    You are right. She should call a farmer to help her sort out legal matters.
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  40. #40
    Originally Posted by kssooner View Post
    you're a fool if you try to do it by yourself.
    you're a fool if you pay an attorney to do anything wrt an estate/will.......unless you are challenging a will....

  41. #41
    Originally Posted by McRib View Post
    You are right. She should call a farmer to help her sort out legal matters.

    the judge "sorts out legal matters"....
    the administrator does what the judge orders.....
    you want to throw money away...hire an attorney.....it's your money....

  42. #42
    KCRuf/Nek's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by McRib View Post
    I think Judge Bonner still does the probates in Cleveland County. I will PM you the name/info for one of my attorney friends down there.
    I know there's a dirty old jurist/young starry eyed underling joke in there but I just can't pull the trigger.

  43. #43
    drumhead23us's Avatar
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    Thanks guys and gals.

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  45. #45
    McRib's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by 87sooner View Post
    the judge "sorts out legal matters"....
    the administrator does what the judge orders.....
    Well, I have the Judge's cell phone, think I should just pass that along? This lady has questions about what to do. She needs someone with legal knowledge to help her sort those out. Don't play the ****ing semantics game with me, farmer in the dale.

  46. #46
    So you say the widow was left pretty well off from the life insurance? Have her give me a call.
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  47. #47
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    Originally Posted by Saul Goodman View Post
    's all good, man.
    .

  48. #48

    Re: Internet Lawyers Unite!

    Questions..

    How does one be on the title/ deed but not mortgage (and vice versa)?

    "She doesn't need the house.."

    What does she plan on doing? Why waste $90k+ on equity if it can be avoided?

  49. #49
    Originally Posted by McRib View Post
    Well, I have the Judge's cell phone, think I should just pass that along? This lady has questions about what to do. She needs someone with legal knowledge to help her sort those out. Don't play the ****ing semantics game with me, farmer in the dale.
    just post the judge's number here.....
    and drum can tell her friend to read this thread if she has questions....


    it amazes me how helpless some of you are....

  50. #50
    SpankyNek's Avatar
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    Was the house purchased before or after the marriage?

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