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Author: SeattlePioneer Big funky green star, 20000 posts Top Favorite Fools Old School Fool Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 310997  
Subject: Re: Debt after Death Date: 3/20/2008 4:29 PM
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<<Most of the debt is in his name. Only two of the cards she actually signed for herself.


I'd agree with those who suggested collecting all the documentation you can about the debts and getting the advice of an attorney. Arounf here, the county bar association will arrange a 1/2 hour of time with an attorney specializing in the area of the law you are concerned about for $50 ---a big, big bargain.

I'd check with your county bar association and see what they have to offer.

If you won't take that approach, the alternative I'd suggest would be to call the creditors with the debts in your dad's name only and explain to them that he died on such-and-such a date, and offer to send them copies of the death certificate if they desire.

You can tell them that since his debts greatly exceed any assets, there are no plans to file for probate. Of course, I wouldn't give them any information about his wife ---your mom.

I also think the suggestion to start a new checking account in a separate bank for your mom is a good one.

Furthermore, if she had a joint checking account with her husband, I think she's entitled to continue using it until the funds are depleted. That might depend on the original provisions for disposing of the assets filed when the account was opened --- perhaps it's worth checking with a bank manager about that.

Sorry for you loss, but on the bright side I your dad may have beat the credit card companies at their own lending game.

I hope your mom manages OK. That's bound to be a challenge.

Seattle Pioneer
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