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Collection notice but no probate

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Junior Member
What is the name of your state? Washington

My uncle passed away in Jan. of this year. He left no will. He held joint accounts, automobiles, and property with his girlfriend, of which all went to her with rights of survivorship. She also received the payments from all of the life insurance policies we have uncovered so far. Most of his personal belongings are still in her possession and we have no knowledge of whether or not they have been sold. He resided with her in another state, although he regularly used his mother's mailing address in Washington for important mail. His next of kin received payment from two small annuities and there were also two vehicles owned solely in my uncles name that also went to his next of kin. One was kept and one was sold (but it was sold to his mother and the title will be filed as "gifted")

There was a lot of funny business that took place with the girlfriend while my uncle was hospitalized and immediately after his passing and as a result my father (his brother) consulted an attorney. After assessing the situation the attorney advised my uncle's next of kin (his son) not to pursue probate because the cost would far outweigh what was left to divvy up between he and his sister.

On June 1st my grandmother received a letter addressed to the deceased from a collections agency. According to the letter, the agency is representing a physicians office. The bill is only for $65 but on account of the bitterness from the girlfriend getting everything, my grandma is not inclined to pay it. I plan to write a letter on behalf of her notifying the collector that the person they are trying to contact does not live at her address and that the debt is not hers. Before doing so though, I would like to make sure that our family truly cannot be held responsible for the debt and that the "drop dead" letter will not turn out to be a mistake we will all suffer from. Also, my father would like to sell out the girlfriend's name to the creditor and get her bugged about it since she got the windfall of his deposit accounts. Is this a bad idea?

Thank you.


There is no need to even respond to the collections letter. The deceased will not pay it--he is not here. The entity required to pay it is whoever is administrator of his estate, and that is not your grandmother (presumably). Therefore, grandmother can ignore it, and you don't need to do anything. They will find the gf.

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