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I'm the opposite of the person who everything they touch turns to gold. When I touch it, it turns to  excrement.

On 11/1/15 I married a wonderful woman. Financially she is the opposite of me. She has money saved, a house (with a mortgage) and great credit. My I was living with my parents, almost no savings and poor credit scores with multiple accounts charged off. I do have a 401K from a prior job and with my current job there will be a pension based on years worked and rate of pay. To help pay off my debt I am driving for Uber and Lyft a few hours a week.

After I got married and moved out of my parent's house they sold their house and had one built in Florida in a 55 and over golf course community. Before the house was complete my mother passed from Ovarian Cancer. My father still decided to move and he moved into the house which was paid for in cash. The extra money from the sale and his social security and retirement pay went into a checking account that he told me would be mine on his passing.

In April he was diagnosed with cancer and not getting good health care in Florida we brought him to NJ for treatment. Sadly before he could start any treatment he passed away. My aunt in Florida is the executor of the will and she and I are not on good terms. 

She told me that he had a will but I never saw it. I know he verbally said that the contents of the house except for the safes would go to her and the safes, the contents and his house would go to me. 

Yesterday I received an offer letter from someone who buys real estate asking me to discuss sale options to them. I can only assume I received this letter because of the will being probated.

I need advise now basically on how not to screw this up. I'm sure there is enough money in the estate to pay off my debt and have some left, but I don't want to take the money I get and then not have anything to show for it.

As of right now I am not being sued by any of the banks that charged off my accounts. However I would say I owe about 40k combined between Navy Federal and PSCU  and I know they don't just give up.

I'm looking for advice on my options.
 

Member Summary
Most Recent Posts
So I spoke to my aunt last night. I have a feeling that I may need to sue her as the executor of the estate for not taki... (more)

MannyL08753 (Sep. 06, 2017 @ 12:20p) |

Sorry she's being selfish and uncooperative. As for the life insurance, if you were named as a contingent beneficiary, a... (more)

DTASFAB (Sep. 06, 2017 @ 12:37p) |

My condolences for your dad's passing. I know that all of this seems like it sucks a lot. And I know your aunt is not be... (more)

Stubtify (Sep. 06, 2017 @ 1:14p) |

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rated:
sorry for your loss.
I'd suggest adding a smidge more detail to the subject, something like "about to obtain an inheritance, looking for advice". Also, the first 3.5 paragraphs are superflouous. Essentially, you have some debt, your parents died, and you'll get some inheritance. You are not on good terms with the executor, and you want to make sure you do everything in a responsible manner.

Step 1) get a copy of the will. Aunt as executor ought to provide it to you. If not, go through probate http://flcourts.org/resources-and-services/family-courts/family-... for more info
Step 2) a whole different ballgame, and you need to provide more details. How long has it been since you made any payments on charged off accounts? List all debts and interest rates on debts?

I suppose I have a question - do you know the contents of the safes? Does your aunt have access to the safes (i.e. can she open them, take stuff out and now it's just "in the house")?

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You need to get a copy of the will and talk to the attorney handling the probate. Without that, you have no way to evaluate the offer you received. I understand you do not want to pull down your wife, but do ask her advice since you say she has been good with money.

Rereading your post, things may be more complicated if I read correctly, your Dad was established as a resident of Florida, but died in another state - New Jersey.  How long did he reside in New Jersey after you brought him back?  You need to consider his property in New Jersey and any required paperwork to advise you Aunt about. Both states may claim some probate jurisdiction.

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Contact a real estate agent so sell on the market, if this is south pbc the market is hot

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imbatman said:   sorry for your loss.
I'd suggest adding a smidge more detail to the subject, something like "about to obtain an inheritance, looking for advice". Also, the first 3.5 paragraphs are superflouous. Essentially, you have some debt, your parents died, and you'll get some inheritance. You are not on good terms with the executor, and you want to make sure you do everything in a responsible manner.

Step 1) get a copy of the will. Aunt as executor ought to provide it to you. If not, go through probate http://flcourts.org/resources-and-services/family-courts/family-... for more info
Step 2) a whole different ballgame, and you need to provide more details. How long has it been since you made any payments on charged off accounts? List all debts and interest rates on debts?

I suppose I have a question - do you know the contents of the safes? Does your aunt have access to the safes (i.e. can she open them, take stuff out and now it's just "in the house")?


 

  My Aunt and her family do not have the combination  to the safes (or so they claim). I know there are bonds, proof coins and cash in them. I will ask her for a copy of the will. I feel like I am walking on eggshells around her because when I was down in FL to bring  my father to NJ for treatment  her daughter accused me of only being interested on my father's money. She said I was acting like the good son although I wasn't. It felt like I was on Jerry  Springer and I had to walk out of the house so I did do or say something I would regret. 

 

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First off, sorry for your loss.
As you've already seen, this sort of event brings out a lot of emotion and bitterness, so stay calm.
It's going to be stressful for you, but doubly so for your aunt, since she can be personally liable/go to jail if you can prove she's not following the will.
Executors are poorly paid, and subject to extreme emotions and drama. 
My Aunt and her family do not have the combination  to the safes (or so they claim). I know there are bonds, proof coins and cash in them.
Someone will have to hire a locksmith, (though I'd check youtube videos first... you'd be shocked how easy safes are to crack.)
Hire them directly if needed, and make sure you're there when the box is opened, or if the safe can be moved 

Call a couple real estate brokers and ask for a "Competitive market analysis" or CMA... they should jump on it, but you can also check Zillow for a ballpark price.
her daughter accused me of only being interested on my father's money. She said I was acting like the good son although I wasn't.
People's act on their grudges, and say what they wouldn't dare when the family member was alive. You need to decide what if any of the relationship to salvage...
If they aren't close, you might decide never to speak to them again, and focus on securing the bequest you have a legal right to.

I'd echo asking your wife for emotional support... If only for the grieving, but also for the finances.
You can go nuclear, and hire a lawyer to represent your interests, but be prepared to lose 30%+ to contingency fees.

Best of luck
 

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MannyL08753 said:   
imbatman said:   sorry for your loss.
I'd suggest adding a smidge more detail to the subject, something like "about to obtain an inheritance, looking for advice". Also, the first 3.5 paragraphs are superflouous. Essentially, you have some debt, your parents died, and you'll get some inheritance. You are not on good terms with the executor, and you want to make sure you do everything in a responsible manner.

Step 1) get a copy of the will. Aunt as executor ought to provide it to you. If not, go through probate http://flcourts.org/resources-and-services/family-courts/family-... for more info
Step 2) a whole different ballgame, and you need to provide more details. How long has it been since you made any payments on charged off accounts? List all debts and interest rates on debts?

I suppose I have a question - do you know the contents of the safes? Does your aunt have access to the safes (i.e. can she open them, take stuff out and now it's just "in the house")?


 

  My Aunt and her family do not have the combination  to the safes (or so they claim). I know there are bonds, proof coins and cash in them. I will ask her for a copy of the will. I feel like I am walking on eggshells around her because when I was down in FL to bring  my father to NJ for treatment  her daughter accused me of only being interested on my father's money. She said I was acting like the good son although I wasn't. It felt like I was on Jerry  Springer and I had to walk out of the house so I did do or say something I would regret. 

 

Sorry for your losses.  You do not owe anyone anything.  Always remain calm and keep communication with your aunt clear but minimal.  Brevity is essential here.  I wouldn't deal with the cousin at all.  She has no legal involvement here.  Only your aunt matters.

Do you have any idea how much the total value of the estate might be?  It's the responsibility of the executor to properly execute the will and if the estate is sizable and/or complicated enough, the executor should hire an attorney who specializes in wills/trusts/estates.  This lawyer doesn't have to be located in the state in which the deceased last resided, but has to be familiar with that state's laws, since those are the rules that are going to be applicable.  This would be your aunt's responsibility to hire such an attorney if she can't handle the estate (including the filing of any required tax forms) herself.  Some CPAs who are not attorneys may also be willing to file required tax forms if they're simple enough.

The tricky part about lawyers in this area of law is that they serve multiple purposes.  If the estate is large enough to owe federal and/or state estate taxes or if the beneficiaries owe any inheritance taxes, the lawyers essentially act as government accountants, trying to make sure every last estate asset is inventoried and declared so it can be taxed to the fullest amount possible.  But on the other hand, when it comes to distributing estate assets to heirs, the lawyers tend to be loyal to whoever hired them and is paying them.  That would likely be your aunt.  In short, if your aunt hires a lawyer who seems shady to you, it might be beneficial for you to hire your own lawyer.

Since your aunt is claiming to not know the safe combinations, I can see her lawyer possibly trying to quiz you and pressure you to give up that information so the safe contents can be properly inventoried.  If this happens, either you or your attorney should be present when the safes are opened.  Keep in mind the estate attorney hired by your aunt may not have YOUR best interests in mind.  That's why you might need your own attorney.

Also find out from your aunt about any estate assets that aren't going through probate, such as financial accounts that had one or more named beneficiaries.  For non-retirement accounts, these are commonly titled one of four ways:  TOD (transfer on death), POD (payable on death), ITF (in trust for), or simply BENEFICIARY.  The legal meanings of these terms vary slightly and may not always be exactly the same in all states, but essentially, in a nutshell, it means the beneficiary(ies) get the assets directly, outside the process of probating the will.

Understand that until the house goes through probate, the estate is responsible for the carrying costs.  After the probate judge gives the go-ahead for you to take title to the house, it will have to be put into your name before you can sell it.  Then you'll be responsible for the carrying costs for as long as you own it, just like any other homeowner.  I would start looking at comps in the area immediately.  MLS is a good place to start, but actual recent sales are more relevant than current listings.  If you can identify similar properties in the area that you know have sold recently, Zillow may display the exact sale price and closing date.  Get an idea of how much the house is worth, and start contacting selling agents in the area.  Look for a good deal but not a killer deal on commission.  It has to be low enough for you to get a good deal, but not so low that your agent is unmotivated to work hard to sell it.  Also, the split is important, because if the buying agent is only getting 1%, none of the buying agents are going to show it to their clients.  Look to pay somewhere in the 4.0-4.5% ballpark with the buying agent getting 2.5% and the selling agent (your agent who you hire) getting 1.5-2.0%.  There will be agents who laugh at you and cite the common rate of 6% and some agents won't work for less than that, but many others will.

FINALLY, and this is very important:  DO NOT MIX INHERITED ASSETS IN THE SAME ACCOUNTS AS MARITAL ASSETS YOU SHARE WITH YOUR WIFE.  Keep everything separate.

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Do you have any joint accounts with your father, or are you aware of being named beneficiary on any financial accounts or life insurance policies?  If so, those are not in the estate and not under the purview of your aunt as executor.  Isolate those accounts, transfer the money out, close the accounts, whatever it takes.  Those funds are rightfully yours and you need to take steps to protect them.

Next, are there any personal effects (including the safes) about which there is no dispute?  If so, get yourself on an airplane, rent a car, and go pick those up - the safes, personal effects, etc., whether of any value or not.  Even if you have to move them to a storage locker or have them shipped, get them out of the house.  These things have a way of disappearing if you don't act quickly.  

Once clear ownership of the house is established through the will or probate, get the locks changed immediately.  Don't let any seemingly well-intentioned relative or friend convince you that it is better for them to be watching it or staying there.

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I have nothing to add other than, sorry for the loss of your mother and your father, and the fact that you have to deal with this bullshit with your aunt (regardless of who made the situation a bad one) after the death of your father. I understand that this type of thing is one of the last things you want to deal with after such an event. However, just keep your chin up and maintain composure. It's easy to let emotions poke through your thought process, so keep your head on straight.

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Without a copy of the will you don't know what you are going to get.
Maybe the Aunt is trying to screw you out of more of the property. Maybe not?

You said someone contacted you because of Probate, that's another path to get the will, call the Probate lawyer.

BTW if there is a Probate lawyer, why hasn't he contacted you if you are named on the will?

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Sorry for your loss.

You mentioned you got a mail from someone offering to buy the house. I'd ignore those offers. You'll likely see more such vultures mailing you, or even calling and coming to your door. You can probably safely assume that none of those people will come close to offering a good price and they're all just bottom feeders trying to get a deal by taking advantage of someone in grief.

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ThomasPaine said:   First off, sorry for your loss.
As you've already seen, this sort of event brings out a lot of emotion and bitterness, so stay calm.
It's going to be stressful for you, but doubly so for your aunt, since she can be personally liable/go to jail if you can prove she's not following the will.
Executors are poorly paid, and subject to extreme emotions and drama. 
My Aunt and her family do not have the combination  to the safes (or so they claim). I know there are bonds, proof coins and cash in them.
Someone will have to hire a locksmith, (though I'd check youtube videos first... you'd be shocked how easy safes are to crack.)
Hire them directly if needed, and make sure you're there when the box is opened, or if the safe can be moved 


Best of luck
 

  
I was just chatting with a haul-away 1-800-Junk guy at lunch and he was telling me all the stories about safes that get hauled away by their company - normally takes them 5-15 min with various tools to get one open...between a few sledgehammers or a locksmith, there shouldn't be too much issue without a key...

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IANAL. Nor do I play one on TV.

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I was just chatting with a haul-away 1-800-Junk guy at lunch and he was telling me all the stories about safes that get hauled away by their company - normally takes them 5-15 min with various tools to get one open...between a few sledgehammers or a locksmith, there shouldn't be too much issue without a key...
You should check out Bosnian Bill's Youtube channel.
People make custom cylinders that he picks for fun, and most don't last 1 minute.

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^^^ I've only watched 2 videos and one of them was of a lock he couldn't pick (for 2 days) and gave up -- youtube.com/watch?v=KBJAqvmMnAw

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Jerosen--
  My wife and I already are acting under the assumption that the offer they give us will not be in our best interest because they will need to make a profit. Realtor.com shows the house estimated at 207,700 with the median price in the neighborhood of 209,500 

  
forbin4040--

I do not know who the probate lawyer is or if there is one. I do know that at the time of his passing he never filed his taxes for 2016 and he had someone helping him. I know my aunt has hired an attourney to handle the 2016 return. I do not know if that will delay probating the estate.  At this point I am assuming the will had to be probated. The reason I am assuming this is because I live in NJ, the property is in FL and if I was not on some paperwork filed with the courts how would the person who wrote me know to contact me?



dcwilbur;19956549 
  
    I do not have any joint accounts. He did have me as an authorised user on two of his credit cards. Obviously those cards can't be used because the accounts are closed. There was an insurance policy that had my mother marked as the beneficiary. Obviously she can't inherit the money and my aunt is sending me the paperwork to fill out to have me changed as the beneficiary. He is a retired postal worker and I don't know if he had anything through them. My mother had him as the beneficiary of her retirement benefits from her employer. I don't know if there was any remaing value that would then pass to his estate. My parents did not discuss finicail things with me. That could be why I am so bad with my finances. 

As far as going to the property I don't know if I can get access to it. The hosue is in a gated community and I am not on the approved list. My aunt and her husband is. My father had promised to add me on but he didn't before he passed. The safes and contents are too heavy to put on a plane. I am checking the prices of new safes versus the price of a uhal rental. if I take just the contents most likley I could just fly back on SouthWest and have everying in two suitcases

DTASFAB---

I'm assuming the cash value of the estate was under 300K and possibly another 200K foor the house. As far as not mixing inheriated assetts with martial assets that's not a problem because we do not have any joint accounts. The reason for that is I don't want anyone to try to attach to her assets for my pre-marriage debts.

skh12-- The hosue is in San Antonio Florida. 

Jw10-- I believe because he came to NJ in May for what was planned as a medical visit (cancer treatment and rehab) with full intention for him to return to his house and he passed two months later I don't believe that NJ would have any claim. (Although he moved from NJ to Florida in 2015 and didn't get a Florida Licence until 2016 [ although medically he couldn't drive])

imbatman-- Saving the best for last. You asked about my charged off accounts and I have my credit report now. Getting it was a doozy because they had my address as the Florida address and not where I live in NJ. I had to mail a copy of my licence to get the report. I do not know the interest rate on any of my charged off accounts


Alliant Credit Union  1st 30 day late Dec 2014 Charge Off Feb 2014 - $410
Amex-                 1st 30 day late Jan 2015 Charge Off date not non reported but $2,222 is listed as written off and $1,464 past due as of July 2017
Citi-                 1st 30 day late Apr 2014 $3580 written off
Credit First          1st 30 day late Nov 2014 $845 written off
Navy Federal          1st 30 day late Aug 2015 $9998 written off with $10,737 past due
PA State Emp CU       1st 30 day late Oct 2014 $15,555 written off
US Bank               1st 30 day late Nov 2014 $1732 written off $1553 past due
United Teletech       1st 30 day late Feb 2015 $689 written off
 


The only Debt Collector on the report is Portfolio Recovery for Cap One but about 5K and I've never been contacted by them

I have a car loan at 0% with $2207.73 left at $367.93 per month. I have a Target Mastercard with $2,100 on it an a $4,000 credit limit at 22% (I will be paying that to zero once I get money) I "owe" by wife about $7,000 for medical expenses, travel and part of the wedding expenses.

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MannyL08753 said:   Jerosen--
  My wife and I already are acting under the assumption that the offer they give us will not be in our best interest because they will need to make a profit. Realtor.com shows the house estimated at 207,700 with the median price in the neighborhood of 209,500 

  
forbin4040--

I do not know who the probate lawyer is or if there is one. I do know that at the time of his passing he never filed his taxes for 2016 and he had someone helping him. I know my aunt has hired an attourney to handle the 2016 return. I do not know if that will delay probating the estate.  At this point I am assuming the will had to be probated. The reason I am assuming this is because I live in NJ, the property is in FL and if I was not on some paperwork filed with the courts how would the person who wrote me know to contact me?



dcwilbur;19956549 
  
    I do not have any joint accounts. He did have me as an authorised user on two of his credit cards. Obviously those cards can't be used because the accounts are closed. There was an insurance policy that had my mother marked as the beneficiary. Obviously she can't inherit the money and my aunt is sending me the paperwork to fill out to have me changed as the beneficiary. He is a retired postal worker and I don't know if he had anything through them. My mother had him as the beneficiary of her retirement benefits from her employer. I don't know if there was any remaing value that would then pass to his estate. My parents did not discuss finicail things with me. That could be why I am so bad with my finances. 

As far as going to the property I don't know if I can get access to it. The hosue is in a gated community and I am not on the approved list. My aunt and her husband is. My father had promised to add me on but he didn't before he passed. The safes and contents are too heavy to put on a plane. I am checking the prices of new safes versus the price of a uhal rental. if I take just the contents most likley I could just fly back on SouthWest and have everying in two suitcases

DTASFAB---

I'm assuming the cash value of the estate was under 300K and possibly another 200K foor the house. As far as not mixing inheriated assetts with martial assets that's not a problem because we do not have any joint accounts. The reason for that is I don't want anyone to try to attach to her assets for my pre-marriage debts.

skh12-- The hosue is in San Antonio Florida. 

Jw10-- I believe because he came to NJ in May for what was planned as a medical visit (cancer treatment and rehab) with full intention for him to return to his house and he passed two months later I don't believe that NJ would have any claim. (Although he moved from NJ to Florida in 2015 and didn't get a Florida Licence until 2016 [ although medically he couldn't drive])

imbatman-- Saving the best for last. You asked about my charged off accounts and I have my credit report now. Getting it was a doozy because they had my address as the Florida address and not where I live in NJ. I had to mail a copy of my licence to get the report. I do not know the interest rate on any of my charged off accounts


Alliant Credit Union  1st 30 day late Dec 2014 Charge Off Feb 2014 - $410
Amex-                 1st 30 day late Jan 2015 Charge Off date not non reported but $2,222 is listed as written off and $1,464 past due as of July 2017
Citi-                 1st 30 day late Apr 2014 $3580 written off
Credit First          1st 30 day late Nov 2014 $845 written off
Navy Federal          1st 30 day late Aug 2015 $9998 written off with $10,737 past due
PA State Emp CU       1st 30 day late Oct 2014 $15,555 written off
US Bank               1st 30 day late Nov 2014 $1732 written off $1553 past due
United Teletech       1st 30 day late Feb 2015 $689 written off
 


The only Debt Collector on the report is Portfolio Recovery for Cap One but about 5K and I've never been contacted by them

I have a car loan at 0% with $2207.73 left at $367.93 per month. I have a Target Mastercard with $2,100 on it an a $4,000 credit limit at 22% (I will be paying that to zero once I get money) I "owe" by wife about $7,000 for medical expenses, travel and part of the wedding expenses.
 

  in response to the bold about access. You should be able to access it, it's yours (assuming the will says what you think it says). If it's a gated community, there is a contact person. Contact them, explain your father passed, you need access to the house to obtain your belongings as directed by the will, and ask what they need in order for you to access the house. Don't mention your aunt or anyone other possible drama, keep it simple. They can't prevent you from accessing your stuff and your house, but they may require a copy of the will (get a copy of the will), or a court order.

For your charged off accounts. youch.
I suppose it depends on which state has jurisdiction, and I don't know the answer to that. When did you move from FL to NJ?

If FL has jurisdiction, the statute of limitations to be sued is 4 years for open ended accounts
If NJ has jurisdictions, it's 6 years.
Either way, you're still within the statute of limitations on all of them, and you could be sued.

Your options are to
1) pay the debts
2) call the companies and ask to pay a reduced amount for them to be removed from your credit report
3) wait it out and hope no one sues you for the delinquent accounts.

I would do #2.



 

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MannyL08753 said:   
  
 There was an insurance policy that had my mother marked as the beneficiary. Obviously she can't inherit the money and my aunt is sending me the paperwork to fill out to have me changed as the beneficiary. He is a retired postal worker and I don't know if he had anything through them. My mother had him as the beneficiary of her retirement benefits from her employer. I don't know if there was any remaing value that would then pass to his estate. My parents did not discuss finicail things with me. That could be why I am so bad with my finances. 


 

It doesn't exactly work that way. Beneficiaries can't be changed after the insured's death. IANAL, but I had to deal with the deceased beneficiary scenario myself.

When a named beneficiary is deceased, (provided there are no named contingent beneficiaries), then the proceeds of the life insurance policy can only be paid to the estate of the insured. Then, the proceeds pass to the heirs of the insured's estate according to the will or intestate law. In your case, the life insurance company that has your mother named as beneficiary on your father's policy needs proof of your mother's death. Then they will cut a check for the policy proceeds payable to your father's estate. The life insurance proceeds will pass to the named heirs in your father's will.

http://www.legalconsumer.com/inheritancelaw/topic.php?TopicID=22&ST=FL 

You should contact the post office to find out about any possible life insurance through them. My late father was also a retired postal worker. He had a policy that remained in force after his retirement.

As far as your mother's retirement benefits, I believe the same scenario applies. The proceeds would have to be made payable to your mother's estate and then they pass to any named heirs in your mother's will, (if she had one), or intestate law.

http://www.legalconsumer.com/inheritancelaw/topic.php?TopicID=23&ST=FL 

I've just got to say this. It is not at all difficult to name contingent beneficiaries for any account, whether it be life insurance, retirement accounts, bank/brokerage accounts, etc. The lines are right there on the same form you use to name a primary beneficiary! It boggles my mind why more people don't do this! Now, the OP has to depend on the aunt to inherit through the probate process money that was intended to pass outside of probate.

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gwraigty said:   As far as your mother's retirement benefits, I believe the same scenario applies. The proceeds would have to be made payable to your mother's estate and then they pass to any named heirs in your mother's will, (if she had one), or intestate law.
  Presumably, OP's father took over his deceased wife's retirement assets as his own or distributed them to other heirs subsequent to her passing.
gwraigty said:   I've just got to say this. It is not at all difficult to name contingent beneficiaries for any account, whether it be life insurance, retirement accounts, bank/brokerage accounts, etc. The lines are right there on the same form you use to name a primary beneficiary! It boggles my mind why more people don't do this! Now, the OP has to depend on the aunt to inherit through the probate process money that was intended to pass outside of probate.
I agree this should be done whenever possible, but it's not always easy, especially for simple checking and savings accounts.  It typically depends on both bank policy and the state of residence of the account holder.  In my experience, Citibank won't allow any beneficiary to be named on a checking account, but they will on a savings account.  Chase allows for both.  TD Bank allows checking and savings accounts to be put in trust for an individual, but not a non-profit charity or other entity.  I'm not sure if TD allows contingent beneficiaries to be named.  Actually I'm not sure if Chase and Citibank allow for that either.  I know Citibank makes it difficult to change a named beneficiary, because they don't have a special form just for that.  They require the entire account to be retitled, even if the primary account holder is not being changed and nobody else is being added or removed.

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Agree, hopefully the mother's estate was already settled.

I've banked at several different places, both locally and online. My kids are in their early 20's and we've always been able to have them as contingent beneficiaries on our bank accounts, from the time they were born. But I haven't used Chase or Citibank. I can believe that some banks wouldn't provide for it, but I can't imagine why not.

I'd especially think that with life insurance and retirement accounts, it'd be more universal to allow for that.

Please people, check your accounts to make sure you have contingent beneficiaries when you can.

I was especially concerned with this phrase: "...my aunt is sending me the paperwork to fill out to have me changed as the beneficiary." Literally cannot be done, legally. Paperwork should only be signed with an explanation that the beneficiary is deceased with proof via a death certificate, mailed back to the life insurance company. Since the aunt is executor, I'm not sure why OP even needs to be involved with that procedure. Insurance company will mail a check payable to "The Estate of (OP's father)", which aunt should be handling.

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imbatman said:   
 
For your charged off accounts. youch.
I suppose it depends on which state has jurisdiction, and I don't know the answer to that. When did you move from FL to NJ?

If FL has jurisdiction, the statute of limitations to be sued is 4 years for open ended accounts
If NJ has jurisdictions, it's 6 years.
Either way, you're still within the statute of limitations on all of them, and you could be sued.

Your options are to
1) pay the debts
2) call the companies and ask to pay a reduced amount for them to be removed from your credit report
3) wait it out and hope no one sues you for the delinquent accounts.

I would do #2.



 

  I just want to clarify that I never stopped being a NJ resident. My father moved to FL in 2015. In 2016 he added me to his Costco account and his Costco credit card. I think that is when the Credit Bureaus made the error with my address. I do have a law firm that handles debt negotiation working with me. They have already settled four accounts for less than the creditors offered. For one account that had a suit filed they had the suit withdrawn and we paid the account off. I have an escrow account with them that I pay into monthly that they use for settlements.

 

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imbatman said:   
MannyL08753 said:   As far as going to the property I don't know if I can get access to it. The hosue is in a gated community and I am not on the approved list. My aunt and her husband is. My father had promised to add me on but he didn't before he passed. The safes and contents are too heavy to put on a plane. I am checking the prices of new safes versus the price of a uhal rental. if I take just the contents most likley I could just fly back on SouthWest and have everying in two suitcases. 
In response to the bold about access. You should be able to access it, it's yours (assuming the will says what you think it says). If it's a gated community, there is a contact person. Contact them, explain your father passed, you need access to the house to obtain your belongings as directed by the will, and ask what they need in order for you to access the house. Don't mention your aunt or anyone other possible drama, keep it simple. They can't prevent you from accessing your stuff and your house, but they may require a copy of the will (get a copy of the will), or a court order. 

I would be hesitant to just talk my way into the property and start taking stuff. He thinks he has inherited the house, but he doesn't really know for sure.  And even if the house was left to him, depending on state law, he may not be the owner until the transfer of title is completed through the probate process.  OP - your best bet is to clean up whatever issues are causing you to be at odds with your aunt.  Time to make peace, even if you have to suck it up and play a little kiss-ass just to make her feel good.  Otherwise, this could go south on you real fast.   

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dcwilbur said:   
 
I would be hesitant to just talk my way into the property and start taking stuff. He thinks he has inherited the house, but he doesn't really know for sure.  And even if the house was left to him, depending on state law, he may not be the owner until the transfer of title is completed through the probate process.  OP - your best bet is to clean up whatever issues are causing you to be at odds with your aunt.  Time to make peace, even if you have to suck it up and play a little kiss-ass just to make her feel good.  Otherwise, this could go south on you real fast.   

  
I can't clean up the issues between me and my aunt. When my wife and I were dating my mother told her that on her passing she would get some of her jewelry. This was never put into writing. On my mother's passing my father took the jewelry out of the safe deposit box and my aunt took all of it. She did not leave anything for my wife. When my wife asked her for at least one piece it was just after the funeral because my aunt was returning back to Florida the next day. My aunt sent ballistic and since then thinks my wife is only interested in money. My aunt admits to me that she is stubborn and won't change. At our wedding my aunt practically ignored us and had to be prodded by her daughters to give my wife a hug.

If the diamond that  was in my other's engagement ring wasn't given to me to make my engagement ring then I would have no jewelry to remember my mother from. That diamond though was originally used in my father's mother's engagement ring.

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MannyL08753 said:   I can't clean up the issues between me and my aunt...Sure you can. Every family has a story just like yours. As hard as it may seem, you should become as dispassionate as you can about the matter, bite your tongue at all times to keep from saying what's on your mind, count to ten over and over again just to keep yourself calm and collected, and handle this as simply a business transaction.

As an aside, I think everyone gets a pass on anything they do within six months or so after the death of a loved one. Unfortunately, people do some pretty stupid stuff in times of grief. It's a shame to ruin familial relationships for a lifetime. I know firsthand; I have a sibling who hasn't spoken to me for more than five years over something stupid that happened after my mom passed, despite my repeated attempts to reconcile.
  

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Serious question. Have the laws for charged off debts changed?

If not they can't sue you. They can try to get you to reaffirm your debt. But that is strictly voluntary.

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zapjb said:   Serious question. Have the laws for charged off debts changed?

If not they can't sue you. They can try to get you to reaffirm your debt. But that is strictly voluntary.

You've always been allowed to sue for charged off personal debt, within the statute of limitations, whatever they may be.

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dcwilbur said:   imbatman said:   
MannyL08753 said:   As far as going to the property I don't know if I can get access to it. The hosue is in a gated community and I am not on the approved list. My aunt and her husband is. My father had promised to add me on but he didn't before he passed. The safes and contents are too heavy to put on a plane. I am checking the prices of new safes versus the price of a uhal rental. if I take just the contents most likley I could just fly back on SouthWest and have everying in two suitcases. 
In response to the bold about access. You should be able to access it, it's yours (assuming the will says what you think it says). If it's a gated community, there is a contact person. Contact them, explain your father passed, you need access to the house to obtain your belongings as directed by the will, and ask what they need in order for you to access the house. Don't mention your aunt or anyone other possible drama, keep it simple. They can't prevent you from accessing your stuff and your house, but they may require a copy of the will (get a copy of the will), or a court order. 

I would be hesitant to just talk my way into the property and start taking stuff. He thinks he has inherited the house, but he doesn't really know for sure.  And even if the house was left to him, depending on state law, he may not be the owner until the transfer of title is completed through the probate process.  OP - your best bet is to clean up whatever issues are causing you to be at odds with your aunt.  Time to make peace, even if you have to suck it up and play a little kiss-ass just to make her feel good.  Otherwise, this could go south on you real fast.   


I said to call and find out what is needed to access the property and said they would likely need to see a copy of the will. I'm not suggesting he try to stroll in, but if he can prove the house is his, they can't prevent him from accessing.

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MannyL08753 said:   
The extra money from the sale and his social security and retirement pay went into a checking account that he told me would be mine on his passing.

I'm looking for advice on my options.

  
I'm sorry for your loss. As someone who is just wrapping up the settling of an estate, a couple of suggestions:

1) Get a copy of the will. Without it, you know nothing.
2) If you're a named beneficiary in the will, ask for a list of assets from the executor.
3) Some assets are non-probatabe (i.e they don't go through the probate process). For example, bank, brokerage accounts, retirement accounts can pass directly to you via Payable on Death or Transferable on Death provisions, if you are the named beneficiary.
4) Try to patch things up with your aunt. It will make both your lives easier.

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So I spoke to my aunt last night. I have a feeling that I may need to sue her as the executor of the estate for not taking care of the estate.

She has not informed the people at the development of my father's passing. I am concerned that with the house being unoccupied and a hurricane heading towards Florida if the house sustains damage it will not be covered under the existing insurance.

I received papers that she mailed up to have me claim life insurance my father had. My mother was the listed beneficiary but because she pre-deceased him the policy goes to the children. That would be me. When I called the insurance company to get the policy # because I do not have it they said I need to send a copy of the will. I asked my aunt for one and she said that it was filed with the lawyer. I asked who the lawyer was and she refused to tell me. She said that she will email me a copy of the will instead.

I know he had checking and savings accounts which were supposed to be opened as POD with my name but according to my aunt they were not so the transfer has to go through the probate process.

I am angry now because of her greed. My mother had a curio cabinet with Hummels and Lladro which because they were included in the contents of the house she took everything. Basically I am left with nothing to remember my mother with or my father because she took most of the furniture. Yes she was allowed this because he said the contents of the house would go to her but I would think she would offer something to me or his sister.

She still has not added me to the list of people allowed into the community. She said she will before I go down next month to bring back what is left.

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Sorry she's being selfish and uncooperative. As for the life insurance, if you were named as a contingent beneficiary, all you'll need is a copy of both your mother's and father's original death certificates. As long as you know where the insurance policy was held (which company), they should be able to help you.  Even if you weren't named specifically as contingent beneficiary, the policy itself might be written in a way that avoids probate.  You may have to provide both death certificates and find a witness or two who will sign notarized affidavits stating that your father had no other children besides you.  The witness will have to be someone who knew your father for a number of years.

If you think your aunt is lying about the checking and savings accounts and you know what banks held these accounts, again, you simply need your father's original death certificate. Go in person to a branch (if convenient) since they're not likely to help much over the phone without being able to confirm your identity and without seeing an original death certificate.

Whatever homeowners insurance your father had before he died should still be in effect now because title hasn't transferred to you yet. This is assuming the policy period hasn't expired/lapsed. I'm not 100% sure about this and it might vary based on state, but I would be surprised if the house isn't covered right now. Whether there's flood insurance and whether that will be a factor is another variable.

Although you know you are named as the recipient of the house in your father's will, until it's actually probated, I think your aunt as executor can probably prevent you from entering the premises. Right now it's merely an estate asset just like any other non-contracted property. You don't actually get any rights to the house until a probate judge says you do. If the house is uninsured and it's damaged, your aunt will be liable. In the event that her negligence and/or maliciousness as executor causes you to suffer some kind of measurable damage, you can pursue legal action against her. You should really consult with your own lawyer who can advise you better.

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MannyL08753 said:   ...Basically I am left with nothing to remember my mother with or my father because she took most of the furniture. 
 

  
My condolences for your dad's passing. I know that all of this seems like it sucks a lot. And I know your aunt is not being fair. 

But you have plenty to remember your mom and dad by. Focus on the happy memories and photos, videos. Items are important at first, but their importance fades as the years go by. Then there will be a day when you look at them and go "what am I going to do with this now...?"

Most importantly: DO NOT let your Aunt ruin you--miserable people like to make other people miserable. 

 

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