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estranged father died in CO and I don't know what to do

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my estranged father died in his apartment in el paso county colorado about a month ago from what looked to the coroner as complications of alcohol abuse. His body was found last sat. morning on the floor of his apartment. his dog had starved to death and died too. I have no idea what state his affairs are in, if he has any insurance, or a will, I am in california and cannot get out there for at least 3 weeks. the apartment manager says I have 10 days to clean out his apartment or they are going to sell everything inside. I am sure he is in debt and I am not expecting there to be any money in his estate. My sister and I want to have him cremated and sent out here so that we can have his ashes. But we are worried that by doing this we will be responsible for his debts. I am really confused I don't know what we are supposed to do. we want to take care of his body and that of his dog (we think they should be together) but we don't know what else we have to do or how to find out if he had any insurance or an arrangement of some sort to cover his final expenses and/or debts. He is an army vet honorably discharged. He was disabled and recieveing SSI as well as care through something called Adult Protective Services. He is also a dead beat dad and has been on the run for several years and owes my mother over 15,000 dollars in back child support. I hope this information helps it is all I know about him. Thanks.




JUNE 13, 2001


Go ahead and make his funeral arrangements, that will not make you responsible for paying his debts. If his estate can not afford to pay his bills, then it will just unfortunately be bankrupt and the creditors can not come after other relatives to make them personally responsible.

Did your father have any friends in that area with whom you could store his possessions? If possible have someone go through his apartment to at least look for his checkbook/bank records and look for a will among his personal papers.

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