Where do I begin?
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Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Jan 14, 2022 7:41 AM
       Where do I begin? (by WMH [NC]) Jan 14, 2022 8:05 AM
       Where do I begin? (by NE [PA]) Jan 14, 2022 8:18 AM
       Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Jan 14, 2022 8:20 AM
       Where do I begin? (by Frank [NJ]) Jan 14, 2022 8:24 AM
       Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Jan 14, 2022 8:36 AM
       Where do I begin? (by Ken [NY]) Jan 14, 2022 8:37 AM
       Where do I begin? (by Richard [MI]) Jan 14, 2022 8:44 AM
       Where do I begin? (by WMH [NC]) Jan 14, 2022 8:53 AM
       Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Jan 14, 2022 8:58 AM
       Where do I begin? (by RB [TN]) Jan 14, 2022 9:00 AM
       Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Jan 14, 2022 9:12 AM
       Where do I begin? (by myob [GA]) Jan 14, 2022 9:15 AM
       Where do I begin? (by Robert J [CA]) Jan 14, 2022 9:21 AM
       Where do I begin? (by Small potatoes [NY]) Jan 14, 2022 9:28 AM
       Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Jan 14, 2022 9:33 AM
       Where do I begin? (by Small potatoes [NY]) Jan 14, 2022 9:34 AM
       Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Jan 14, 2022 9:38 AM
       Where do I begin? (by Allym [NJ]) Jan 14, 2022 9:56 AM
       Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Jan 14, 2022 9:59 AM
       Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Jan 14, 2022 11:14 AM
       Where do I begin? (by S i d [MO]) Jan 14, 2022 11:40 AM
       Where do I begin? (by 6x6 [TN]) Jan 14, 2022 12:14 PM
       Where do I begin? (by Nicole [PA]) Jan 14, 2022 12:34 PM
       Where do I begin? (by Busy [WI]) Jan 14, 2022 12:39 PM
       Where do I begin? (by R [OH]) Jan 14, 2022 12:58 PM
       Where do I begin? (by Ken [NY]) Jan 14, 2022 1:42 PM
       Where do I begin? (by don [PA]) Jan 14, 2022 1:51 PM
       Where do I begin? (by Ken [NY]) Jan 14, 2022 1:53 PM
       Where do I begin? (by don [PA]) Jan 14, 2022 1:54 PM
       Where do I begin? (by Smokowna [MD]) Jan 14, 2022 2:14 PM
       Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Jan 14, 2022 3:34 PM
       Where do I begin? (by Busy [WI]) Jan 14, 2022 4:08 PM
       Where do I begin? (by Lana [IN]) Jan 14, 2022 4:19 PM
       Where do I begin? (by S i d [MO]) Jan 14, 2022 4:29 PM
       Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Jan 14, 2022 4:46 PM
       Where do I begin? (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Jan 14, 2022 9:08 PM
       Where do I begin? (by Dee Ann [WI]) Jan 15, 2022 2:12 PM
       Where do I begin? (by Wilma [PA]) Jan 15, 2022 3:35 PM
       Where do I begin? (by Jim [OH]) Jan 16, 2022 12:14 PM

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Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 7:41 AM
Message:

Next week I will be having a business meeting with my Dad's surviving in-laws about what to do next in regards to dealing with the $300K house my Dad and his 4th wife left behind. I have a 1/5 ownership stake in this house according to my Dad's Will.

If the house was free and clear, my job would be easy but that is not the case here. If you were in my shoes, where would you begin to search for all unpaid debts or mortgages associated with a house you just inherited? My Dad never discussed his financial affairs with me mainly because it was too embarrassing for him to talk about it.

Again, how do I begin this search for documents which could be a real cesspool? --71.207.xxx.x




Where do I begin? (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 8:05 AM
Message:

IF it were me, I would simply refuse the inheritance. You ARE allowed to do that. In a perfect world with no other expenses and a full price sale you are talking $60k. Highly unlikely. --50.82.xxx.xxx




Where do I begin? (by NE [PA]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 8:18 AM
Message:

Start like you would with any other house you’ve bought. Title search. --24.152.xxx.xx




Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 8:20 AM
Message:

WMH,

Before refusing anything, I need to know what it is that I am forfeiting. I need to do research and learn if there is any Equity left in my Dad's estate. I do know my Dad's 4th wife declared bankruptcy but I have no idea as to what chapter (7, 11 or 13?) of bankruptcy was filed. There are so many things here that I just don't know but it will be my job next week to begin the search for clues.

--71.207.xxx.x




Where do I begin? (by Frank [NJ]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 8:24 AM
Message:

Sounds like a job for the Executor of the Estate --174.206.xxx.xxx




Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 8:36 AM
Message:

NE,

I checked the online property taxes for this property and found something shocking! Good news is: property taxes have been paid and seem to be current. Bad news: the homeowners of the house is still listed in my Dad's and his #3 wife's name!

And #3 wife died in 1999. My Dad would never stay single for very long and so in 2001, he marries #4 wife, which died 3 days ago. --71.207.xxx.x




Where do I begin? (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 8:37 AM
Message:

Roy, first read the deed and determine how your dad and his wife held title,it is common to hold it in a manner that both parties own 100% of the house so if that is the case when your dad passed his wife received the whole house and when she passed it goes to her heirs.A will does not override this.Second you need to search at the county clerks office,find the deed,find the mortgage and read the terms as far as length of term and amount owed and i can help you estimate the balance,look for another mortgage,look for judgments. --72.231.xxx.xxx




Where do I begin? (by Richard [MI]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 8:44 AM
Message:

Roy,

No matter what you do, others won't be happy with it. It's not worth the stress. Tell the court that you are not qualified to serve as executor and that they should appoint an executor to deal with it.

Take whatever the executor gives as your share and that's it. Otherwise you are likely going to create bad feelings with your family that last the rest of your life.

--75.7.xx.xx




Where do I begin? (by WMH [NC]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 8:53 AM
Message:

In NC the house would pass 100% to the surviving spouse (your dad, and on his death to #4.) HIS will wouldn't affect that, I don't think. So her will would prevail, if she had one?

But having no legal training or real knowledge whatsoever, I'd say you need to talk to a probate lawyer. --50.82.xxx.xxx




Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 8:58 AM
Message:

Thanks Ken!

I will be at the courthouse on Tuesday doing just that,..finding the Deed and mortgage etc.

The Executor of the Estate use to be my older brother but 1 year before my Dad's death, there were changes made and I never learned who in the family became the 'new Executor'. And to this day, I have never even seen my Dad's Will. I remember asking him for a photocopy in 2014 and he would not share this with me. --71.207.xxx.x




Where do I begin? (by RB [TN]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 9:00 AM
Message:

Having nine other siblings,

I simply walked away from a Family Estate

that was free and clear with a bunch of

money and investments.

I showed up to the first family meeting and

proudly and maturely said that they have one less person

to Divvy with and left smiling.

YOUDOWHATYAGOTTADO.

--24.183.xxx.xxx




Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 9:12 AM
Message:

WMH,

I will eventually contact my lawyer but I want to gather as many facts as I can before doing that. I want my lawyer to look for things that I may have missed. My lawyer is an expert in doing Title Searches.

--71.207.xxx.x




Where do I begin? (by myob [GA]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 9:15 AM
Message:

You need to follow your state laws concerning this. Here in GA if no will it goes to probate. Your case it sounds like your dad left an executor but it's not you-- or MAY not be.

Roy good lesson for all who are fence sitters on plans. Acting NOW to get your affairs in order.

The death of wife #4 in AL may mean half of your fathers estate goes to her family.

Rather than spend for the funeral maybe use that money toward an estate planning atty. Tell you what the laws are. --99.103.xxx.xxx




Where do I begin? (by Robert J [CA]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 9:21 AM
Message:

I had a property in partnership for over 34 years. Each of my other partners were flakes, meaning their follow thru was lacking. One time when a long term tenant left and the house needing a complete make-over, the partners allowed me to do the complete project myself. Before starting I asked each partner to get an estimate from a general contractor, seal it in an envelope and hand me a copy.

I quickly did what was necessary and we were able to put the house back on the rental market within 40 days. I had replaced the roof. Installed a used (newer) central air/heating system, painting the interior/exterior. Installed a new exterior patio roof. A new garage door opener. Used good condition appliances. Laminate flooring and mini-blinds. The kitchen and bathroom had limited face lifts.

My total bill including material, labor and parts was around $20,000. All of the partners thought I cheated them. When I opened up their envelopes with estimates from their contractors, they amount was over double with only half of the work being done that I had provided.

I knew that I wasn't appreciated. After all the partners were not real estate professionals.

Then down the road when the partners wanted to sell the house, I offered to buy them out. They laughed at my offer and said, they will fix it up themselves and put it on the market. I posted on the property a notice to all other contractors a "Notice of non-responsibility". I wasn't going to pay the bills. So after 6 months I wanted to find out what was going on. The partners didn't get the construction sequence in the right order. Materials that were delivered early weren't secured and got stolen. Things that got delivered late, held up the project. When they reached $125,000, they ran out of money and sold me the house for a song. They were only trying to remodel the kitchen and 2 bathrooms.

Since you are a real estate expert but only 1/5th owner -- you'd think you should run the show. But no one will appreciate your work and they will agree to pay the costs from the sale of the property. So you'd have to put in more than your share's value to get a maximum sale. Not worth the trouble.

Either sell the house as is, or get everyone to chip in a few bucks for the remodel. You can always get a loan on the equity to make improvements. --47.155.xx.xxx




Where do I begin? (by Small potatoes [NY]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 9:28 AM
Message:

if you are not an executor then perhaps you should forego your interest in the house and all of the headaches that seem to be tied to it. I can see where you might be thinking you are the house guy and could provide a professional opinion, about what to do and how negotiate w buyers, and you still can. if the in laws are as destitute as you previously mentioned, this might be a way to bless them --172.58.xxx.xx




Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 9:33 AM
Message:

Some of you are telling me to walk away here, but the family feud has not even begun yet! And it may never. If there is anything worth fighting for here (which I do not know yet), then I will put my boxing gloves on and get inside the ring. --71.207.xxx.x




Where do I begin? (by Small potatoes [NY]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 9:34 AM
Message:

also forefitting an interest in the house does not have to mean you exclude yourself from the will. --24.194.xxx.xx




Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 9:38 AM
Message:

The 'house' here is located 5 miles from where my primary residence is. I have not seen my Dad's house since 2017. I am going today and at least see what condition it is in. I will probably see a house that has had no maintenance done since 2015. --71.207.xxx.x




Where do I begin? (by Allym [NJ]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 9:56 AM
Message:

Start receiving the mail. Go to the post office and fill something out. Take a copy of the will, perhaps and get the mail. You will soon know what is going on. --108.24.xx.xx




Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 9:59 AM
Message:

Thanks Allym,...great suggestion there. I will check the mailbox today too. --71.207.xxx.x




Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 11:14 AM
Message:

Just off the phone with my attorney who was also my Dad's attorney. Major bombshell was revealed. He asked me if my Dad's Will had been probated within 5 years of his death in 2015. I answered No and that means my Dad's Will is invalid and he died Intestate. And when my Dad's 4th wife's daughter hears this, this is where the war will begin. She just lost her 1/5 share of the Estate! --71.207.xxx.x




Where do I begin? (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 11:40 AM
Message:

Roy, I'm sorry to hear you're in this situation. As others have said (and I have personally experienced) family inheritances, especially unclear ones like this, are usually horrendous messes.

Usually, the only people who come out well in these circumstances are attorneys. I wouldn't spend more than a few hours and a few hundred bucks. Most likely, the ensuing squabbles will eat up most/all of the estate. Unless you have reason to believe there is significant equity, probably not worth it since you're doing so well on your own already.

--108.230.xxx.xx




Where do I begin? (by 6x6 [TN]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 12:14 PM
Message:

If you have not seen the will, how do you know that you have a 1/5th share?

Where any one of them, your dad or his wife, ever on Medicaid from the state? That will make a big difference.

I don't think it is going to matter what work you do if you are not the executor. You also might want to be careful about checking the mail, if you are not the executor. Why go through all the trouble, if you are going to have your attorney do the search anyway?

The executor should be listed in the will. They will be paid for their time and trouble, you won't.

I wish I had not stepped in the mess I did.

--73.120.xx.xxx




Where do I begin? (by Nicole [PA]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 12:34 PM
Message:

I guess the first question should be did step mom have a will? Since it was a long term marriage, wouldn't they have had wills drawn up at the same time?

If she didn't have a will, or if the will mysteriously 'doesn't exist' as in the situation that has me riled up on your behalf, her kids will need to get appointed by the courts to administer her estate.

If your dad's only asset was the house, intestate laws should determine who was to get it and I'm guessing wife #4 got a share of it, along with your dad's children, but that is state specific.

If step mom has a will, step aside and the executor will take care of everything. If it's the daughter and she's not too bright, the attorney will do the actual legwork for her to make his job easier. you will receive updates. --98.237.xxx.xx




Where do I begin? (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 12:39 PM
Message:

Though these may be tough conversations, I, myself, wouldn't walk away. When iI sat down with my multitude of brother's and sisters, I was the annoying one. The one asking 'dumb' questions. The one seeking clarity. Another family member with more limited capacity was getting ignored, though they had questions. Seems a couple of siblings had already worked out how they wanted things to go. Oh, there was a will, a trust, insurance, but there is still the manner in which the Executor handles it. And then, there is the chattel.

On the settlement of an estate, the small things, the chattel, can be some of the biggest conflicts. How to deal with cleaning out the house to prep it for sale, how to dispose of Grandma's fifty-state spoon collection. That was where we had some arguments. I'm a 'deal with something once' kind of guy ( using guy as the Wisconsin term. Its gender-neutral up here!) . At the last family get-together, there were still people asking about what to do with Mom's... Oy! You took it home, don't bother me again with it!

Your family might appreciate your guidance. I've had several of my large tribe thank me for asking those 'dumb' questions, and I've heard many agree that Busy's method of deal with something ONCE, deal with it thoroughly, then let it go was best. We're all back on good footing. Well, to the extent that a very large, convoluted family ever can be.

Even if there are unpleasantries, in my never humble opinion, I say its better to work through things than just ignore. In my husband's family, several of us did the 'just ignore,' it works out how it works out. His family is smaller, about the size of what you are dealing with, Roy. Years later, there are still rifts. My husband reached out to each of his siblings individually in the last few years, and brought a little togetherness. All involved were grateful, and mentioned they wished they had worked through more of this at the time of parents passing. I give him nudges, but I will stay out of his family's dealings. Its like his family is composed of all ' only children'. They are lonely.

I like your boxing gloves analogy. You are fighting for more than stuff. You are fighting for future relationships and to ward off future loneliness, even if you don't know it now. I wish you well, my friend. --70.92.xxx.xxx




Where do I begin? (by R [OH]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 12:58 PM
Message:

Hi Roy, Good luck. Ally beat me o it. I would also say look at the mail that goes to the house if you can beat the others to it. Also I just think that dealing with your attorney or a good probate attorney would be the way to go since they should know the law and see how it starts to sort out. --12.47.xx.xx




Where do I begin? (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 1:42 PM
Message:

I agree with 6x6,you dont have any right to go through the mail,it is not your dads mail.Is there a balance on the mortgage due? i believe you said there is so how long does it take to foreclose in your state? i bet it is a short time compared to my state.Are any of them capable of making payments until it is sold? you have a mess here i think,i wouldnt lay out any money beyond having your attorney figure out where you actually stand --72.231.xxx.xxx




Where do I begin? (by don [PA]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 1:51 PM
Message:

You can run a title search to find any liens. As far as general debt, in Penna. when an executor advertises the estate according to certain standards, general creditors have one year to come forward and that is it. --73.141.xxx.xxx




Where do I begin? (by Ken [NY]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 1:53 PM
Message:

Roy,when you are looking for judgments also make sure you search her name because she could have easily gotten a judgment filed since your dad passed,they only attach for a certain length of time but i have no idea about your state so if you find any make a copy with the date it was filed and ask your attorney --72.231.xxx.xxx




Where do I begin? (by don [PA]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 1:54 PM
Message:

In Penna., a wife cannot be excluded from a will. If your dad's will is invalid and he died intestate, would not the last wife be at least a major heir, and upon her death her share would pass to her heirs? --73.141.xxx.xxx




Where do I begin? (by Smokowna [MD]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 2:14 PM
Message:

I nearly read all the earlier replies.

Remember that if you find yourself in a position where credit card companies or others need to be paid, you can inform them that the person has passed and negotiate a much lower settlement.

(if that makes any sense) --96.241.xxx.xxx




Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 3:34 PM
Message:

A lot of great questions here which I do not have answers to.

Next week sometime, all people whose names appear on the Will be meeting for a sit down talk around the dining room table.

I do have one question though: how many people here who have responded to this post,...actually have a Will themselves? My Will was created in 1994 but I need to make some changes to it and add some new beneficiaries to it.

--71.207.xxx.x




Where do I begin? (by Busy [WI]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 4:08 PM
Message:

Outdated will myself, Roy. Excellent observation. --70.92.xxx.xxx




Where do I begin? (by Lana [IN]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 4:19 PM
Message:

When my father died, he left a real mess behind. As he became weaker, he started to buy stuff like a 2K leaf rake that attached to his tractor so he could rake to his standards. He would come to visit my farm and just stare at the leaves in my yard. I thought they were pretty. When he discovered his ELOC was available, it was like he had a never ending credit card.

He left my mother a house nearly fully mortgaged again, and no assets but a $1000 buried in a mayonnaise jar. I paid for his cremation. We sold their house and there was enough to buy my mother a double wide trailer we placed on my farm.

NEs suggestion of a title search is great, maybe the county Assessor has records of any liens, and getting the mail is good as well. This is when you get to find out how close your family is not. --216.23.xxx.xx




Where do I begin? (by S i d [MO]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 4:29 PM
Message:

Roy, my wife and I have had Wills since the mid 2000s. Our current Will were drafted by an Elder Law attorney. She also set up our Revocable Living Trust. I am also the named Exector in both my parents Wills (if the other is also deceased) and for another set of family members. Not braggin'. You asked, and I have done some research on this just so you know because I take my responsibility to these dear folks serious as I do my own to my wife and kids.

The question he is first, "is there a valid Will?" Sounds like wife #3 and your Dad may have passed away too long ago and would be declared intestate (i.e. died without a last will and testament), but here's where it gets murky: does the intestate nature of the previous estate(s) take precedence over any other valid Wills and/or laws the declare assets as joint property of subsequent marriages, if any such valid wills exist (i.e from Wife #4)?

This whole thing is just a huge mess. I'd be tempted to avoid it, or at least sit out to the side and let others do the heavy hitting and litigating. Let them find out who owns what and who is owed what (and pay for it), then if there's anything legit coming your way without too much of a fight, you can step into the fray.

Side note: This is why we follow our lawyers advice and do a review/update once every three years. Things change. People change. Kids reach adult age. People names as heirs die or no longer wish to serve. Better to be proactive than react the a sh*tstorm, which is what these things turn into.

I don't know. --108.230.xxx.xx




Where do I begin? (by Roy [AL]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 4:46 PM
Message:

Sid,

My main reason for not bailing out of this is for 2 reasons. First if there is any equity in the house (even $10K) I would like to get my percentage out it. 2nd reason, I hope to get an education here that will benefit me when I re-do my Will. In 1994, I was virtually broke since I had just bought my first house. Fast forward to now, my financial situation is totally different and I need my Will to reflect this. I have a lot more to bequeath now than I did in 1994. --71.207.xxx.x




Where do I begin? (by Ray-N-Pa [PA]) Posted on: Jan 14, 2022 9:08 PM
Message:

Title company is your friend --24.101.xxx.xxx




Where do I begin? (by Dee Ann [WI]) Posted on: Jan 15, 2022 2:12 PM
Message:

Back to Robt J's thoughts, if you decide to do anything to help the property sell for more and someone else seems to have an agenda, best to determine who will take charge, how and how it will be dispersed to the person in charge who is likely spending their time and initial resources to make things happnen. When my uncle died and my mom had to be relocated here, hubby and I spent 2+ weeks in VA to sort out improving and selling their 4 plex. Met with realtors to get sales estimates, met with buyers,etc. Got home and brother's wife's agenda was to dump it basically. Left $200,000 on the table by not selling to mom's best realtor neighbor who looked after her for years and pissed off the other buyer, who each time she angered him more, dropped his bid at least $20,000. In the end he paid $200,000 less than its worth, we were not reimbursed for any of our effort or expenses. That buyer was ready to deal with me for more. She wouldn't hear of it, even tho she had no idea of the worth. Now my mom doesn't have a pot to *p...s*in and will likely live another 10 years. Oh, and they are moving 2 1/2 hours away.

Please be careful Roy... --75.11.xx.xx




Where do I begin? (by Wilma [PA]) Posted on: Jan 15, 2022 3:35 PM
Message:

What a mess people can leave behind when they don't share their intentions and status with anyone. Your question to us all about updated (or any) wills is a good one. My folks had a will from PA that was 30 years old when they passed. The state of Florida made me (executor) jump through all kinds of hoops to be declared the Personal Representative for the estate when Dad died shortly after Mom. Had they kept it up to date AND current with FL rules, it would have been a walk in the park. Instead, I had to pay a FL estate lawyer three percent of the estate UP FRONT and watch his office move at a snail's pace, making several errors.

My brother was terrific during the disbursement of assets and personal items. ZERO conflicts, plenty of cooperation and thanks. I've called him at least twice since to thank him for making things so much simpler for me.

My father-in-law died in PA with a 30 yo will and an improperly set up Revocable Living Trust. Fortunately, everything went directly to my MIL. We got my MIL's will and POAs all updated after he passed, and after several years of work with the various banks and investment companies, the Living Revocable Trust for my MIL untangled.

It was a lot of work, but it falls under "some day I'll thank me for this" when she passes.

Which reminds me - our wills are six years old, time to review, especially as we now have a son-in-law.

Keep us posted, Roy! --98.115.xxx.xxx




Where do I begin? (by Jim [OH]) Posted on: Jan 16, 2022 12:14 PM
Message:

Step away. This is one where you must look away and move forward. --184.57.xxx.xx



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