+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 15 of 18
  1. #1
    Jenna112 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    7

    Father died without a will. Do I need to go through probate?

    I live in Colorado and my father recently passed away. He was not married and I am his only (living) child. Do I still need to go through probate for legal appointment? I need to take care of his affairs (accounts, taxes, etc.) and am not sure if I need to have proof that I'm legally allowed to do these things. Also, I am the sole beneficiary to his life insurance.

    Last edited by Jenna112; 02-23-2012 at 10:47 PM. Reason: Stupid iPhone!
  2. #2
    anteater is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    6,014
    If you are the designated beneficiary for his life insurance, you should be able to obtain the proceeds from the insurance company. The proceeds would not be a probate asset.

    Did any of his other assets have designated beneficiaries?

    Did he own any real estate? And what is the approximate value of his non-real estate assets? If there is no real estate and the other assets are valued under $50,000, a small estate affidavit could be used rather than a full probate.

    I am his only (living) child.
    That seems to imply that there are predeceased children. If so, did those children have any descendants? Without checking Colorado's intestate succession statutes, I am confident that any of those lineal descendants would also stand to inherit.
  3. #3
    Jenna112 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    7
    My brother passed away in '03 but did not have a spouse or child. My father had a home but It appears that he is upside down on it and even with renovations it would barely break even. I'm learning that he had quite a bit of debt ~$30k in addition to his home. His non-real estate assets would hardly amount to $10k.
  4. #4
    anteater is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Posts
    6,014
    With an upside down house and an overall insolvent estate, you might want to consider doing nothing. If you were to open probate, you would essentially be administering the estate on behalf of the creditors. While the court would probably grant you some compensation for administering the estate (which would be payable before the creditors get anything), it would likely be a lot of tedious effort for minimal compensation.

    If you decide to not undertake the probate task, I would suggest writing the lender and creditors informing them that the probate estate is insolvent, that you do not intend to open probate and administer the estate, that they are free to do so if they wish, and, if they wish to open probate, you will be glad to waive any right that you have to administer the estate. Don't even mention the life insurance proceeds.

    Whether you inform them or not, you will probably receive calls from the creditors. Some may imply that you have an obligation to probate the estate. Some may try to persuade you that you have some "moral obligation to pay them. Tune them out. You don't.
  5. #5
    Jenna112 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    7
    Thanks so much! I've been trying to read and answer my own questions but it's all so complicated. I do know that theres some money in his bank accounts. Should I try to get that out through the bank or ATM or leave that alone?
  6. #6
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    53,524
    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna112 View Post
    Thanks so much! I've been trying to read and answer my own questions but it's all so complicated. I do know that theres some money in his bank accounts. Should I try to get that out through the bank or ATM or leave that alone?
    That money goes to pay the creditors. It's not yours. Why would you try to get it out?
  7. #7
    Banned_Princess is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York. Long Island.
    Posts
    7,711
    Quote Originally Posted by Zigner View Post
    That money goes to pay the creditors. It's not yours. Why would you try to get it out?
    so the creditors don't get their greedy little hands on it silly.
  8. #8
    Zigner is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    California
    Posts
    53,524
    Quote Originally Posted by Banned_Princess View Post
    so the creditors don't get their greedy little hands on it silly.
    Hush up - I'm sure the OP had some other reason than that






  9. #9
    Jenna112 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    7
    Well I need to pay for the funeral. I have his debit cards (got his wallet from the coroner) and he had previously given me his pin codes. I wasn't sure if it was morally or legally right to take out money to cover the expenses. Also, am I entitled to the possessions in his house? Sorry I have so many questions, I'm just totally lost.
  10. #10
    Silverplum is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005
    Location
    Silver Cliff, CO
    Posts
    25,675
    Quote Originally Posted by Jenna112 View Post
    Well I need to pay for the funeral. I have his debit cards (got his wallet from the coroner) and he had previously given me his pin codes. I wasn't sure if it was morally or legally right to take out money to cover the expenses. Also, am I entitled to the possessions in his house? Sorry I have so many questions, I'm just totally lost.
    No need to be sorry for asking questions.

    I sympathize with your loss.
  11. #11
    commentator is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    4,819
    Pay for the burial expenses using any assets he has. that's first.
  12. #12
    Jenna112 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    7
    Quote Originally Posted by commentator View Post
    Pay for the burial expenses using any assets he has. that's first.
    So does that mean I am allowed to go through the ATM and make withdrawals? Or will someone come after me for that?
  13. #13
    curb1 is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2002
    Location
    oregon
    Posts
    2,063
    Is your name on any of these accounts? Are you listed as a beneficiary? Have you talked to the bank? Don't use the ATM unless your name is on the accounts.
    Last edited by curb1; 02-24-2012 at 05:22 PM.
  14. #14
    Banned_Princess is offline Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jul 2009
    Location
    New York. Long Island.
    Posts
    7,711
    Ahhhhh, so it was for another reason.


  15. #15
    Jenna112 is offline Junior Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Posts
    7
    I just need to figure out how to pay for the funeral. It's a huge mess.

Similar Threads

  1. attorney kept retainer my father and i paid him even though my father died.
    By charliestxgirl in forum Legal Ethics & Lawyer Malpractice
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 11-18-2007, 11:41 AM
  2. Mother died left sister and myself then sister died before probate was through
    By Lucille Ennis in forum Probate and Personal Representatives
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 02-25-2006, 02:16 PM
  3. Grandparents died I can't afford probate
    By tmoton in forum Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning
    Replies: 5
    Last Post: 08-15-2003, 03:25 AM
  4. Both my parents died - need help with probate
    By HFS in forum Wills, Trusts and Estate Planning
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 07-25-2001, 03:41 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •  

© 1995-2012 Advice Company, All Rights Reserved

FreeAdvice® has been providing millions of consumers with outstanding advice, free, since 1995. While not a substitute for personal advice from a licensed professional, it is available AS IS, subject to our Disclaimer and Terms & Conditions Of Use.