Mom passed 6/4/2020 and i need advice

rena35

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First off i am not asking for legal advice just some direction on how to proceed with her estate. My mom passed and left no will. She did put me and my dad (never married 50 years together ) as beneficiary of her insurance in case of her death. I am also named as sole beneficiary to a couple of small things she had. My mom owned a house and very valuable pieces of jewelry and antiques . The deed to the house was given to her about 1994 from her old employer whom she worked for about 40 years. It is a condo and from my knowledge she owns it without any liens or mortgages against it. My aunts and uncles have asked me what am i going to do about the property and i have no earthly clue. My dad still lives at the house and he is elderly with chronic health issues. He even has a blood clot behind his heart. Since my mom's passing i am not taking it well at all. I have no need or want of this added stress as far as settling her affairs. In our state if the person who passed was not married it all falls to the child/children of the deceased . If someone has dealt with anything similar i welcome some advice. I don't put much stock in the (friendly ) advice of my relatives whom i have not seen or heard from since i was 3 years old. Now all of a sudden they care and call me daily to ask about my health and just chit chat. It makes me very nauseous and even more depressed and sad to hear their voices. My uncle (my mom's brother) ever so kindly said that since my health is bad and it is a stress to me, he can handle everything :eek2: . Anyone can and will help , you can always pm me if it's more comfortable to do so. I am so lost rght now and feel overburdened with all of this from the coronavirus to this. As i put above, i know it is not legal advice but a place to start would be helpful. Thank you all in advance.
 

Harry_BKK

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Sorry for your loss Rena, never easy when a loved one departs on the final journey.

I went through this when my mom passed away 2.5 years ago, so here's what my brother and I did.

Start by making an exact list of all items, divide them into financials (saving accounts, insurances, current accounts etc), real estate, movables (car, motorcycle, boat etc), valuables (paintings, artefacts etc), jewellery.

Once you have it all, make a marker for each item that is clearly 100% property of your mom or what the case might be (shared, partial etc).

Take that list to a lawyer specialising in handling estate matters (might cost you a little) and ask for the best advice. You can always decide whether to let him handle it.

Do not tell your suddenly friendly relatives anything about what is in the estate. Just say that you are looking into it and collecting all details.
 

colinsunderland

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What a horrible time it is for you
I don't know where you are but sure its not the UK so I can't help with the estate, but do you not have lawyers over there who can handle this type of thing, we do in the UK. It will obviously cost a bit but at least it will relieve you of the stress.

What I would say is, if theres valuable stuff there, get out and take photos of everything, even remove some for safekeeping for now. If distant relatives are crawling out the woodwork, then thats usually for one reason......$$$$$

My condolences
 

ESCJAMIE

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What a horrible time it is for you
I don't know where you are but sure its not the UK so I can't help with the estate, but do you not have lawyers over there who can handle this type of thing, we do in the UK. It will obviously cost a bit but at least it will relieve you of the stress.

What I would say is, if theres valuable stuff there, get out and take photos of everything, even remove some for safekeeping for now. If distant relatives are crawling out the woodwork, then thats usually for one reason......$$$$$

My condolences
100% right about If distant relatives are crawling out the woodwork, then thats usually for one

Im so sorry for your lost @rena35
 

bamberfishcake

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So sorry to hear of your loss and troubles.

Seek the counsel of close friends.

I found myself in a similar situation that dragged for a 5 year search to find a sister who was the sole beneficiary in order to put things to bed. My father had left no will following my Mothers passing 2 years earlier and he had a daughter from a previous marriage.

My friends remained the constant and some close family until the search was over and the estate distributed.

Until that day part of my grief always felt unfinished.

My friends and close family are the ones who helped me keep my sanity and happiness.

I also read a book called 'Grief is the thing with feathers'. If your into reading it may help.
 

rena35

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Thank you so much. I live in the USA. I put in another thread i helped my son and his wife with a few things financially and i am recouping from that. This was very much unforeseen. My mom went in for a minor surgery and ended up not making it. I actually like the idea of just letting things be as they are and not doing a thing right now. My dad is holding up as well as can be expected and he has plenty of supplies. We check on him daily and even offered to let him stay with me or my son who has plenty of space in his new home. He does not want to leave so i don't press the issue. The thing that worries me is my uncle did mention he has friends who are attorneys. He owns his own painting company and has worked for some. I am in Atlanta so i think if i don't want to make a move on any of the estate it falls to her siblings. As far as lawyering up it would have to be on constituency. I have very limited (no knowledge ) of the law. I am a bit of a recluse (due to illness) and don't cause much of a ruckus except to my doctor's . It is very sad that my dad who should be the rightful owner of everything has to be stressed at this matter. I think because of failed first marriages for both of my parents they were content not marrying . Shame on my relatives for not just leaving us alone to grieve.
 

bamberfishcake

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If money is tight, as it was for me, your version of Citizens Advice and a bit of research from family, friends, myself and help from the authorities - your governments wills and probate department may help with advice.

I did the whole thing myself without the help of a solicitor/lawyer. Although, if i was able, i would have paid.

Good luck and take time out for your own sanity.
 

Borgie

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So sorry for your loss and to hear the position you are in. Do not let your relatives take over. Take advice. I really hope it all works out.
 

mcgameboy

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Hi rena.

Sorry to hear of your loss. :( My sincerest condolences go out to you.

I can only advise the following.

Stay close to (and seek the advice of) those who you trust the most.
If it confirms that your gut instinct is the right one, then follow it.

Keep those people whom you do not trust as far away from you as possible.
If they call you, say as little as possible to them.
Do not discuss your health or your father's health, as that kind of sensitive information can be used against you.

If your father wishes to stay at the condo, then respect his wishes.
He does not need the stress of moving home at this late stage of his life.
He's already got to deal with the serious emotional toll that occurs after the death of a long-time spouse/partner.
Besides, he has a lifetime of memories with your mom at that condo.

And finally, do seek legal advice. And make sure it is not from one of your uncle's friends.
Get it from someone who does not have a self-serving agenda with regards to the estate.
Someone who has your best interests and your father's best interests at heart.

I wish you well rena. I hope these matters get resolved as quickly and as stress/pain-free as possible.
Good luck.
 

incrediblestuff

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So sorry for your loss hun :( I know you already had enough on your plate, and from what i've seen in my own circles in the past, i totally hear you regarding suddenly friendly relatives..stuff like that makes me sick...

I am no legal wizard either, but i assume there is at least some time, in which you can handle things: i'll @ternur one of our resident law-buffs, i'm sure he can point you in the right direction! Good luck going forward, and try to take it easy (i know that is easier said than done) <3
 

ladyhawke

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I am so very sorry for your loss. What a desperately sad situation to find yourself in, particularly as you have health issues yourself.

As was stated above, the loss of your parent(s) can cut very deep, as they are the one constant in our lives, through childhood to adulthood, and all the trials and tribulations in between.

Over here (Australia), there is free legal advice for people in different situations, and many solicitors offer a free initial consultation.

There does appear to be something similar in the USA. If you google 'free legal advice USA' then you may find something there that is useful, even if it just gets you started on the first steps to take.

You mention that you "actually like the idea of just letting things be as they are and not doing a thing right now. ' Perhaps that is the first thing you need to clarify - how much time do you have before you must take the first steps towards settling the estate.

And as your mother died intestate, also make sure that your understanding - the estate goes to children of the deceased - is accurate.

As others have stated, try to avoid giving any power to your relatives by letting them see how vulnerable you are at the moment, as they could try to take advantage.

Once again, I am so sorry for your loss and the situation you - and your father - now find yourselves in.
 

rena35

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So sorry for your loss hun :( I know you already had enough on your plate, and from what i've seen in my own circles in the past, i totally hear you regarding suddenly friendly relatives..stuff like that makes me sick...

I am no legal wizard either, but i assume there is at least some time, in which you can handle things: i'll @ternur one of our resident law-buffs, i'm sure he can point you in the right direction! Good luck going forward, and try to take it easy (i know that is easier said than done) <3


I am in over my head with this i am afraid. The best way to describe my feelings ..... greedy, hungry sharks closing in on a kill. My friend said i have to think like a shark but i can't seem to make myself do it. I am far from a push over but like @cncas2123 commented this has changed me. The fire i used to have is now just a puff of smoke. I don't want to fight and i certainly know money will not restore my health or bring my mom back. I have always felt the same in matters like this. I just want a stable place to stay, enough money for the basics and peace of mind. I know i said this but i will say it again. I don't want to fight. I think i may need counseling because i have never not cared about things like i do now. Maybe it's just the grieving process . I know my parents are older but my mom was 64 (my dad 70) . To me that is still young. I just don't know what happened and i need closure....sorry i'm rambling. Thank you to everyone.
 

rena35

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I am so very sorry for your loss. What a desperately sad situation to find yourself in, particularly as you have health issues yourself.

As was stated above, the loss of your parent(s) can cut very deep, as they are the one constant in our lives, through childhood to adulthood, and all the trials and tribulations in between.

Over here (Australia), there is free legal advice for people in different situations, and many solicitors offer a free initial consultation.

There does appear to be something similar in the USA. If you google 'free legal advice USA' then you may find something there that is useful, even if it just gets you started on the first steps to take.

You mention that you "actually like the idea of just letting things be as they are and not doing a thing right now. ' Perhaps that is the first thing you need to clarify - how much time do you have before you must take the first steps towards settling the estate.

And as your mother died intestate, also make sure that your understanding - the estate goes to children of the deceased - is accurate.

As others have stated, try to avoid giving any power to your relatives by letting them see how vulnerable you are at the moment, as they could try to take advantage.

Once again, I am so sorry for your loss and the situation you - and your father - now find yourselves in.


Sorry i missed this. I don't know how much time i have to do something. I know that my uncle mentioned lawyers and the law the day after my mom passed. He also said something about my parents not being married and my dad has no say....i zoned out during the phone call and can't recall much. If i had to guess i am pretty sure they (he and my aunts) will make a move this week. I guess they feel it's been long enough. The deed is still in my mom's name and i think someone has to be over everything. I believe any family member can step forward . Please keep in mind these are my thoughts and not actual facts. It sounds sad but i would let them take over if it wasn't for my dad. I have to protect his interest . Even when my mom was in hospital they would not honor my dad's wishes that she remain on life support. Everything had to come thru me. I have read the advice given and i will try to make calls and search as much as i can to understand this.
 

Mouche12

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I am so sorry for your loss Rena, dealing with your mother's death is one of the hardest things in life, let alone fighting off greedy relatives and ensuring the safety and well-being of your father. I hope that with the help of your friends you'll find a trustworthy and affordable lawyer or notary who can help you with the estate.
 

ternur

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Very sorry to hear this @rena35, please accept my deepest condolences on your loss.

Other members have offered some good general advice, but I strongly advice you consult a local lawyer. My understanding is that these issues fall within the state law in the US and might be different from state to state.

Many local lawyers might offer you some advice for free, just to get you started what you need to know and do. At least they could be able to advice if there is something that's time sensitive or if there's something you should avoid doing. You should get a quote for the fees and costs in writing so there are no surprises.

I'm not able to give other than some practical advice. I've worked on most of my families inheritance and estate issues and one thing I can say is that you need to approach this with a clear head. And that is in no way an easy task to do when you've lost someone close to you.

But you have to give yourself time to grieve first. And then start to deal with the issues as issues while putting aside the fact that this was your mom's life. I know it's easy to say this, but it's crucial while being a very hard and heartbreaking thing to do.

I have personally taken the max amount time available every time when I had to go through something like this. We need to file a kind of tax return here in Finland after every deceased person, and when I did this after my father, I filed it on the last day. Basically I had 4 months to get it done and it would've not been possible to do it within the first months.

And please remember that we have great members here if you need to talk with someone outside your circle of relatives and friends.

All the best to you and your family during this difficult time Rena.
 

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