Probate Question Re Credit Cards

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OldTimer
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Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by OldTimer » Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:44 am

Please help.

In December 2018 my sister passed away in Florida, I live out of state if that matters.

I hired an attorney for the probate process, she did not leave a will.

I am her only relative, no husband, no kids, no living patents, etc.

Her IRA listed me as beneficiary.

The house was in my name, so no issue there.

However after 3 months after filing with the County still no Probate case from the County (can this be?)

But here are my questions:

My sister left credit card balances and other unsecured loans (that I am aware of)in excess of her available cash, CD's etc. (as far as I know as the bank will not give me a report until the County assigns me as the Personal Representative).

Question #1: My attorney says that the credit card companies do not get paid from the available funds if they have not filed with the County within 90 days of filing of Probate with the County. Does this sound correct?

Question #2:I am receiving phone calls and letters from the credit card companies and collection agencies offering as much as a 50% discount on the outstanding balances if I pay within 9 days. Sound like a good deal, if I end up having to pay them anything.

Question #3: I had to pay the attorney upfront and of course pay for the funeral/mortuary services. Can I be reimbursed for these costs before I pay any other bills? The attorney did not give me a clear answer. However other readings online seems to imply that I get reimbursed first.

Thanks for your help.

zxllxz
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by zxllxz » Tue Apr 02, 2019 12:34 pm

Her estate is responsible for all payments, not you. If there is insufficient funds, there is a hierarchy of who gets paid. You might want to read this Florida Probate Phablet for more info: https://www.floridabar.org/public/consu ... phlet026/

Jags4186
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by Jags4186 » Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:05 pm

OldTimer wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:44 am
Question #1: My attorney says that the credit card companies do not get paid from the available funds if they have not filed with the County within 90 days of filing of Probate with the County. Does this sound correct?
There is a responsibility of the executor to notify the credits of death. I don’t believe the 90 day clock starts until they’ve been notified.
OldTimer wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:44 am
Question #2:I am receiving phone calls and letters from the credit card companies and collection agencies offering as much as a 50% discount on the outstanding balances if I pay within 9 days. Sound like a good deal, if I end up having to pay them anything.
There is an order debts need to be paid. If there is enough money to satisfy all the debts this is a good deal. If not you need to get your ducks in a row first. This is what you are paying the attorney for. These deals will be around after the 9 days and may even get better.
OldTimer wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:44 am
Question #3: I had to pay the attorney upfront and of course pay for the funeral/mortuary services. Can I be reimbursed for these costs before I pay any other bills? The attorney did not give me a clear answer. However other readings online seems to imply that I get reimbursed first.
All expenses should have been paid directly from the estate. You are a creditor to the estate now. Depending on state law funeral expenses usually take precedence over all other debts. Similarly so for costs to settle the estate. Make sure you fully understand the law in Florida and if appropriate recoup your money before any other money is dispersed. If there are more debts then assets and money is dispersed in the incorrect order you will never be able to get it back and make yourself whole.

JGoneRiding
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by JGoneRiding » Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:48 pm

I am unsure why you did probate at all? Ianal I am dealing with some of this myself. But it sounds like you had all the assets of any note in your name all ready. You have no obligation to go through probate just to make creditors whole.

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PalmQueen
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by PalmQueen » Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:54 pm

So sorry for your loss and your situation.

You may find a lot of your answers in:
The Executor's Guide to Settling a Loved One's Estate or Trust
Published by NOLO, Written by Mary Randolph, J.D.


It's updated annually and will give you an accurate overview of how the process works.
It won't replace the services of an attorney, but will give you a solid foundation to minimize how much of their time you need to pay for with basic questions and will help you double-check that the process is following an appropriate path/timeframe.

Well worth the $16.52 investment on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Executors-Guide- ... 192&sr=8-1

bnelson817
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by bnelson817 » Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:19 pm

I have been through this process with three family members (mother, father, and brother died together in a car accident) in the state of Florida. I was the personal representative of their estates. Like your situation, they all died without a will and their assets and debts fell through probate. I am not a lawyer and I cannot offer you advice, but I can respond to your questions based on my experience.

Question 1: Your lawyer ought to make a publication stating the death of your sister and requesting that any one (person or company) with a claim of debt against the estate needs to contact him. I believe they have 90 days to respond or else they waive their right to make a claim. Secondly, you need to make a list of all known claims against the estate (hospital bills, credit card bills, etc.) and give your lawyer that list. From that list he will write a letter to each entity with a claim notifying them that the debtor has passed away and that you are the personal representative of their estate. He will send the same letter to any entity responding to his publication. He will send the letter by registered mail so that he knows when they receive the letter. I believe that if they do not respond to his letter within 90 days of that date, they wave their right to claim. None of this process can be started, however, until you are appointed the personal representative of the estate. For me it took about three months from filing with the court until the judge had signed the letters of administration naming me the personal representative of their estates.

Question 2: My parents died with credit card debt (about $3000). We did not receive anything like what you have received and it seems weird to me. Remember that it is the debt of the estate and not your personal debt. You are not responsible for it personally not should you pay any of it from anywhere except perhaps from the assets of the estate. I would wait it out with the credit card company and see if they respond to your lawyer's letter.

Question 3: We did a GoFundMe for the attorney costs and people were very generous in helping with this. We paid for the funeral costs out of auto insurance so I can't give you any meaningful response for this question. Sorry!

I'm so sorry for your lost. Dealing with grief and death can be very difficult and if you are struggling, I suggest you see a grief counselor. This was infinitely helpful for my wife and I. PM me if you have other questions about probate in Florida and I can at least be a sounding board for you.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Tue Apr 02, 2019 2:19 pm

The only response to the creditors should be, "She is deceased. It is required that you timely file against the estate. Here is my attorney's contact information."

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OldTimer
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by OldTimer » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:07 am

Thank everyone for their generous information.

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OldTimer
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by OldTimer » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:29 am

Dear JGoneRiding:

The reason for filing probate includes (as explained to me):

1. Pay final bills from my sister's assets
2. I do not have access to my sister's checking account or bank account until I am named her Personal Representative
3. The banks will not give me any information until I am named her PR
4. To discover if my sister had any other banking assets (CD's, annuities, etc)
5. On the off chance that my sister's assets exceed her liabilities, maybe CD's etc at the Bank?
6. File final Federal Income tax forms

I really appreciate all information supplied. Just a frustrating process. Especially waiting months to be named PR.

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CAsage
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by CAsage » Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:56 am

OldTimer wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:29 am

The reason for filing probate includes (as explained to me):
6. File final Federal Income tax forms
One can file a tax return for a decedent without opening probate. You still sign as "personal representative". Your other reasons, of course, are more compelling. Don't forget to check the Florida abandoned property website for the next several years!
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.

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dm200
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by dm200 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:03 am

Until recently, I was involved with collecting on loan debts - including individual obligations of the recently deceased.

While the assets/estate of the deceased are technically obligated for such personal/unsecured obligations, often or usually lenders will not aggressively pursue collecting. The reason is that the attorney/collection costs to the lender may more than offset the amount that can be collected. On several occasions, in my case, I successfully convinced several survivors to pay the deceased's obligation - without any expense for an attorney.

If the obligation(s) are large, then the lenders may pursue the estate.

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8foot7
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by 8foot7 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:03 am

In my MIL's case, my wife -- executrix -- verbally notified each bank early on after death that indeed their debtor had died and that they'd need to work through the estate process in Our County, NC. As a new bill would arrive, she'd call and explain. This mostly stopped collection efforts, with the exception of a pest control service and Wells Fargo Home Mortgage.

The attorney said that publication in the newspaper plus these verbal notifications were sufficient to fully discharge her responsibility to notify creditors. The attorney said not to pay ANYONE (with the exception of the mortgage and related utilities services to keep the house from wasting away) until all claims had been filed, because as others have noted there is a hierarchy to things. If you pay someone before you're supposed to and that results in a proper claim not being paid fully, then you've broken your legal responsibility and there could be real problems.

There was a 90 day period after publication where everyone could step forward. Not including the mortgage company, of the 7 or so creditors with balances on credit cards and loans, one filed against the estate within the 90 day period. Another filed about a week after the 90 day period ended, and another about a month. We chose to honor all of the filed obligations; the attorney said we didn't have to honor the ones filed after the deadline, but they could fight and extend the whole process, and there were sufficient assets to pay them off, so we chose to get square with them.

We did NOT pay off creditors who chose not to file a claim. We decided if between verbal notice and publication (by this point these accounts were 6-8 months past due, so there should have been some attention paid to them on behalf of the companies) these folks couldn't get their act together to file a claim with an accurate balance, the money wasn't important to them. We felt like honoring all claims that were filed even past the deadline was more than fair.

It's possible that if there were more debts than assets that we would have more fully adhered to the deadline, a nod to fully paying the companies that acted within the boundaries of the process, but we luckily did not have that problem.

The whole thing was closed after about a year. We did get a few further bills, such as for an ambulance company months after service or from AT&T for an early termination fee (!) after all of the funds were distributed, which we simply responded to as "Deceased on this date and estate closed; claim period expired." We gave no further thought to those bills--keep in mind death was in February, estate opened in April, publication in May, distributions in October. These bills arrived around Christmas and into the next year, well after the whole thing was said and done. Sorry Charlie.

We were reimbursed for expenses we fronted to the funeral home and other entities prior to an estate checking account being set up, as well as an executrix fee and attorneys fees, before claims were paid.

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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by minesweep » Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:19 am

PalmQueen wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 1:54 pm
So sorry for your loss and your situation.

You may find a lot of your answers in:
The Executor's Guide to Settling a Loved One's Estate or Trust
Published by NOLO, Written by Mary Randolph, J.D.


It's updated annually and will give you an accurate overview of how the process works.
It won't replace the services of an attorney, but will give you a solid foundation to minimize how much of their time you need to pay for with basic questions and will help you double-check that the process is following an appropriate path/timeframe.

Well worth the $16.52 investment on Amazon:
https://www.amazon.com/Executors-Guide- ... 192&sr=8-1
It might be in one's local library as well. I checked my library online and they have the 2018 edition.

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Earl Lemongrab
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by Earl Lemongrab » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:28 am

dm200 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 9:03 am
While the assets/estate of the deceased are technically obligated for such personal/unsecured obligations, often or usually lenders will not aggressively pursue collecting. The reason is that the attorney/collection costs to the lender may more than offset the amount that can be collected. On several occasions, in my case, I successfully convinced several survivors to pay the deceased's obligation - without any expense for an attorney.
When I was exceutor for my mother's estate, exactly one creditor filed with the court. The rest either tried to get me to pay, to which I repeated what my attorney said, or just said "sorry about to hear that, forget about it."

In her case, we found out she had been paying for credit card insurance, so the BofA rep just took care of filing that claim while doing all of the other stuff with the POD accounts. Had I known earlier, we'd have put more of her expenses on that card.

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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by bsteiner » Wed Apr 03, 2019 11:43 am

OldTimer wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:44 am
...
In December 2018 my sister passed away in Florida, I live out of state if that matters.

I hired an attorney for the probate process, she did not leave a will.
...
after 3 months after filing with the County still no Probate case from the County (can this be?)
...
If there's no Will, you can't probate the Will. But the procedure in Florida is basically the same for an intestate administration.

The papers are filed electronically. If you go to the court's website (search for "clerk of the circuit court [county name] county" (without the quote marks) you can search for the estate under the decedent's name. It should show up soon after the papers are filed. It will show what papers have been filed, and it may show copies of the documents. Once the papers are filed, the court will issue letters of administration quickly, though whether it takes a day or a couple of weeks varies by county, with the larger counties usually taking longer than the smaller counties.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by RickBoglehead » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:00 pm

There is zero reason for you to retain the attorney for many things after you are appointed executor. He/she will tell you what to do (publish Obituary in proper paper), and then you want the claims to be sent to YOU, not the attorney, unless you like paying by the hour to process bills. At the end of the period you bring the bills to the attorney and decide what gets paid based on the law, or you ask the attorney to tell you this in advance.

My relative had a lease car. Once I was appointed personal representative, I contacted the leasing company. They asked where the car was, and I asked where I should bring it to turn it in. They repeated the request, I repeated my answer. They told me to bring it to a dealer, and I got a receipt indicating there was no visible damage. Then they had to have filed a claim, which they did not. So they got nothing more.

OP, you posted back in February about this - viewtopic.php?f=2&t=273713&p=4396368#p4396368

When you contact the attorney, what is his answer about the status of the case?
Last edited by RickBoglehead on Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:23 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by cheese_breath » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:01 pm

CAsage wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:56 am
OldTimer wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:29 am

The reason for filing probate includes (as explained to me):
6. File final Federal Income tax forms
One can file a tax return for a decedent without opening probate. You still sign as "personal representative"...
I did this for my MIL when her estate was too small to require probate. The problem OP might run into though is getting sister's income information so he can file. The post office wouldn't release MIL's mail to me since I wasn't approved by the court, so I couldn't get her SSA-1099s. Social security wouldn't give them to me either. Fortunately I had been informally handling her finances for a few years so I already knew the numbers and filed without ever getting the actual forms.
The surest way to know the future is when it becomes the past.

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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:20 pm

I believe FL has a simplified probate if probate assets are under $75k. Where I live (IL), you don't need probate if assets are under $100k. I can't answer any of the other questions.

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CAsage
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by CAsage » Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:25 pm

cheese_breath wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:01 pm
I did this for my MIL when her estate was too small to require probate. The problem OP might run into though is getting sister's income information so he can file. The post office wouldn't release MIL's mail to me since I wasn't approved by the court, so I couldn't get her SSA-1099s. Social security wouldn't give them to me either. Fortunately I had been informally handling her finances for a few years so I already knew the numbers and filed without ever getting the actual forms.
Yup, me too. The big problem is getting access to mail, finding and accessing bank accounts. My sibling and I were managing Mom's stuff before she passed, so it was a slam dunk to just close the TOD accounts, pay off the small current credit card debts in full. And she was renting, so we were out in just over a month.
Salvia Clevelandii "Winifred Gilman" my favorite. YMMV; not a professional advisor.

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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by Jack FFR1846 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:34 pm

If there comes a time that any credit cards are to be paid, be sure they are legitimate debts. If I were to call you and say I'd settle a $10k credit card bill for $100, you might be tempted to take that deal and send me a check. But your sister never had a credit card from my company and I was simply trying to scam $100 out of you.
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by dual » Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:37 pm

michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:20 pm
I believe FL has a simplified probate if probate assets are under $75k. Where I live (IL), you don't need probate if assets are under $100k. I can't answer any of the other questions.
+1

Two states I am familiar with, California and Arizona also have simplified processes for small estates. Any assets where you are named beneficiary do not enter into the calculation and obviously a house that you already owned does not count.

An internet search should turn up Florida law. If your sister's estate is below the limit it seems to me that the attorney should have pointed this out. If he did not tell you, he may be milking you for fees.

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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by fposte » Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:42 pm

dual wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:37 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:20 pm
I believe FL has a simplified probate if probate assets are under $75k. Where I live (IL), you don't need probate if assets are under $100k. I can't answer any of the other questions.
+1

Two states I am familiar with, California and Arizona also have simplified processes for small estates. Any assets where you are named beneficiary do not enter into the calculation and obviously a house that you already owned does not count.

An internet search should turn up Florida law. If your sister's estate is below the limit it seems to me that the attorney should have pointed this out. If he did not tell you, he may be milking you for fees.
Yes, it looks like it's called summary administration.

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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by michaeljc70 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:12 pm

fposte wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:42 pm
dual wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 1:37 pm
michaeljc70 wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 12:20 pm
I believe FL has a simplified probate if probate assets are under $75k. Where I live (IL), you don't need probate if assets are under $100k. I can't answer any of the other questions.
+1

Two states I am familiar with, California and Arizona also have simplified processes for small estates. Any assets where you are named beneficiary do not enter into the calculation and obviously a house that you already owned does not count.

An internet search should turn up Florida law. If your sister's estate is below the limit it seems to me that the attorney should have pointed this out. If he did not tell you, he may be milking you for fees.
Yes, it looks like it's called summary administration.
It looks like the decedent must die debt free or you have to get all creditors to agree so this might not be applicable here.

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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by johnnyc321 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:38 pm

OldTimer wrote:
Tue Apr 02, 2019 10:44 am
Please help.

In December 2018 my sister passed away in Florida, I live out of state if that matters.

I hired an attorney for the probate process, she did not leave a will.

I am her only relative, no husband, no kids, no living patents, etc.

Her IRA listed me as beneficiary.

The house was in my name, so no issue there.

However after 3 months after filing with the County still no Probate case from the County (can this be?)

But here are my questions:

My sister left credit card balances and other unsecured loans (that I am aware of)in excess of her available cash, CD's etc. (as far as I know as the bank will not give me a report until the County assigns me as the Personal Representative).

Question #1: My attorney says that the credit card companies do not get paid from the available funds if they have not filed with the County within 90 days of filing of Probate with the County. Does this sound correct?

Question #2:I am receiving phone calls and letters from the credit card companies and collection agencies offering as much as a 50% discount on the outstanding balances if I pay within 9 days. Sound like a good deal, if I end up having to pay them anything.

Question #3: I had to pay the attorney upfront and of course pay for the funeral/mortuary services. Can I be reimbursed for these costs before I pay any other bills? The attorney did not give me a clear answer. However other readings online seems to imply that I get reimbursed first.

Thanks for your help.
I am a Florida probate attorney. You have no obligation and the creditor cannot legally require you to pay unless the creditor files a "statement of claim" within the probate proceeding. The only exception to this is when the creditor is secured but that exception is limited to foreclosing the lien. if you pay creditors that have not filed claims and you are the personal representative, you can be held personally liable to the beneficiaries and the creditors who filed claims for those invalid payments.

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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by johnnyc321 » Wed Apr 03, 2019 2:43 pm

OldTimer wrote:
Wed Apr 03, 2019 8:29 am
Dear JGoneRiding:


I really appreciate all information supplied. Just a frustrating process. Especially waiting months to be named PR.
It should not be taking this long to get you appointed unless you are in Palm Beach, Broward, or Miami-Dade counties, or unless there is litigation.

In my county, we typically get the PR appointed in under 2 weeks from date of filing.

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OldTimer
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by OldTimer » Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:41 am

RickBoglehead

In reply to your question: The attorney says that Lee County is very slow and that it is normal for them to take months to reply to the initial filing and name me as PR"

Oldtimer

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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by bsteiner » Thu Apr 04, 2019 8:01 am

OldTimer wrote:
Thu Apr 04, 2019 7:41 am
... The attorney says that Lee County is very slow and that it is normal for them to take months to reply to the initial filing and name me as PR"
...
I just checked the court records online for last one we had in Lee County. The court admitted the Will to probate 8 days after they received our papers. However, the court required the personal representative to post a bond. We filed the bond 20 days after the order, and the court issued the letters of administration the day they received the bond.

Lee County is a fast growing county so perhaps they're busier than they used to be. But you may want to check the court records online and see what's been filed.

I was in Lee County last month speaking at a conference for the Society of Financial Professionals, and very much enjoyed my visit there.

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OldTimer
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by OldTimer » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:01 am

BSteiner:

I checked on line and also called the County. The County has no record of my application.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by RickBoglehead » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:09 am

This smells bad to me. Either the attorney did not do his job, or the county lost the paperwork.

I've done several estates as executor. For one, in Mass, since I was out of state I used an attorney to avoid having to post bond. That attorney was less than useful, so once I was approved I did everything myself. For the other estate, I was in state, and the deceased had a small life insurance policy with Met Life from many years ago. As the owner of Hyatt Legal Plans, Met Life provided free legal services so I used a lawyer. In both cases the paperwork was accepted immediately, but naming me PR took different lengths of time.

My concern here is that they have no record. Courts stamp paperwork and record it.
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by bsteiner » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:47 am

OldTimer wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:01 am
BSteiner:

I checked on line and also called the County. The County has no record of my application.
Then it may not have been filed. Did you sign the petition for administration and send it to the lawyer to file?
RickBoglehead wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:09 am
This smells bad to me. Either the attorney did not do his job, or the county lost the paperwork.
...
My concern here is that they have no record. Courts stamp paperwork and record it.
It's hard to lose the papers in Florida. They're filed electronically and we get a very quick confirmation by e-mail.

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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by RickBoglehead » Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:49 am

bsteiner wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:47 am
OldTimer wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:01 am
BSteiner:

I checked on line and also called the County. The County has no record of my application.
Then it may not have been filed. Did you sign the petition for administration and send it to the lawyer to file?
RickBoglehead wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 8:09 am
This smells bad to me. Either the attorney did not do his job, or the county lost the paperwork.
...
My concern here is that they have no record. Courts stamp paperwork and record it.
It's hard to lose the papers in Florida. They're filed electronically and we get a very quick confirmation by e-mail.
So the fact that they have no record indicates that it's probable that the attorney never filed the paperwork.
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OldTimer
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by OldTimer » Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:45 am

I have a telephone conference call today scheduled with the attorney as she has not responded to my emails in 5 days. Let's see what happens now. I may need to request my 100% upfront payment returned and start over again.

retired_tom
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by retired_tom » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:42 am

OldTimer wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:45 am
I have a telephone conference call today scheduled with the attorney as she has not responded to my emails in 5 days. Let's see what happens now. I may need to request my 100% upfront payment returned and start over again.
Wow! Don't get me started. You may be using the same attorney I had for my late fathers estate. He passed in Dec, 2009. I retained the attorney a couple of weeks later in Jan, 2010. In June, 2016, he finally filed the Petition to Discharge me as the PR. I can't tell you how many calls, letters, emails were sent back and forth, and nothing happened. This is for an estate that was slightly less than $100k. No personal property to dispose of, all just various cash accounts that had no POD/TOD or beneficiaries assigned. It was all straight forward, 3 siblings, all in agreement that everything get split 3 ways. The only issue I could not argue with was a 6 month delay at the start for a Probate Court date. Dad was a DIYer. Bought the "will" at Office Depot. Had a party at the house where he filled it in, the neighbor was a notary, and the other neighbors all witnessed it. Over the 40 years that he had originally written it, he made changes, not by filing a new will, but just crossing out lines, and writing in new info. Never having anyone witness it. In court, the judge just laughed as I explained it to him. Could we contact any of the original witnesses? They were all dead. So, the judge tossed the will out. Got my PR papers about a month later. Almost 7 years from start to finish. Good luck.
Sorry, I did not want this to become a rant about attorney's or the probate legal system. I did want to mention the biggest problem I had with being the PR was with the Credit Card companies. I think only 2 of them were responsive to my calls. First I wanted to cancel all the cards. A number of companies wouldn't even talk to me about the account because I was not listed on the account. I tried to explain the situation, but they wouldn't listen. At that point, I said fine, as of that date, the account holder is not responsible for any charges on that card. I also followed it up with a letter to the customer service group. The others expressed their condolences, and canceled the account.
Last edited by retired_tom on Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:57 am, edited 1 time in total.

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RickBoglehead
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by RickBoglehead » Fri Apr 05, 2019 10:56 am

OldTimer wrote:
Fri Apr 05, 2019 9:45 am
I have a telephone conference call today scheduled with the attorney as she has not responded to my emails in 5 days. Let's see what happens now. I may need to request my 100% upfront payment returned and start over again.
I can empathize with your situation. In early 2014 I hired a lawyer (I was out of state) to get me made PR for my estranged father's estate (no will). Let's just say that the lawyer was so unresponsive that she waived most of her fees because she didn't do what she was supposed to do, once I was approved as PR. Note - She waived her fees due to being overloaded and giving inappropriate attention to the case.

I made sure to leave a review regarding the lack of quality representation on Avvo.

Earlier this year, she further exhibited her lack of quality representation by ending a letter saying she was shutting her firm and joining another, and asking if we wanted her to bring the files with her. The letter was dated end of the year, the deadline to notify her end of the year, and the letter was mailed in February...

I would push the lawyer for an answer today. If the filing has not been done, request a full refund immediately, give them until Monday to verify it has been sent.
Avid user of forums on variety of interests-financial, home brewing, F-150, PHEV, home repair, etc. Enjoy learning & passing on knowledge. It's PRINCIPAL, not PRINCIPLE. I ADVISE you to seek ADVICE.

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OldTimer
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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by OldTimer » Sat Apr 06, 2019 8:21 am

All:

I had my telephone conversation with the attorney yesterday. She admitted that the filing was done by snail mail (maybe?) and that she had not followed up with the County as to why there was no action after 2 1/2 months on the second filing. She promised to e-file by Tuesday and immediately send me a copy of the e-file reply.

I am hopeful that this matter gets resolved soon.

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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by GreenGrowTheDollars » Sat Apr 06, 2019 12:50 pm

I would instead request a refund and find a better attorney.

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Re: Probate Question Re Credit Cards

Post by OldTimer » Wed Apr 10, 2019 8:02 am

Hopefully progress has been made.

My attorney filed via efile yesterday and received an acknowledgement from the County. What this tells me is the attorney was less than diligent in initially following up. Thanks for all the comments received.

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