Deseased father and credit card debt??

connie_txAugust 10, 2004

Someone who can hopefully help us would greatly be appreciated. This is our delima. My father passed away suddenly and without warning in May. They had retired because of health from a self employed home based business. They took the debt that the business eventually got them into and consolidated them by transferring to 2 low interest credit cards. One of the 2 was in his name only and the other was in his primarily and then they added her to it. When my mother called to see what she could do about lowering payments etc. They asked her to speak to him and she told them he had died. They told her at that time this is on the first card that it would be forgiven and she would owe nothing on it since it was in his name and the other said the same thing. One wanted a death certificate the other just asked questions about place of death etc.Transfered her over to the probate line??? The first one has since said it was not forgiven and that she had to pay it but helped drop interest even farther and the payment to help my Mother. The second one sent a letter today wanting to settle it when they told her it was no longer her responsibility. This letter says that if there was an estate probate etc they needed it to be paid for or a letter sent to them. They have nothing the home is in my Mothers name as well as all checking accounts, and the other credit cards she owes. The house is paid for and in her name only and my sisters and I. She lives on less than $900.00 a month down from 2100.00 since his death and its not enough for her to pay her bills and medicine she has to have. She lost his retirement pension which was not big and his or her social security. Can they get her home or make her sell this to satisfy them. It sounds like they are trying to get it from her, this is the largest one in his name only. She is terrified that they can do that and she will have nowhere to go. We all say they cannot do this. She has excellant credit and is doing all she can to keep up the others on time as always. Where do we go and should we just write the letter saying there is nothing to pay for this debt. After all they are the ones who told her in the first place she wouldn't have to pay these now it sounds if they are trying to scare her into paying and if so she may have to declare bankruptcy. This payment was 387.00 a month.. Please help if any one can so we can get her blood sugars and blood pressure down which this morning at the Doctors was extremely high and worried the Doctor. She used the only insurance policy they had to bury him and pay for the Headstone. Another to pay the house off and save her that payment per month. Thanks for anyones help and advice.


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I had a similar problem when my mom died in March, but she did not leave a spouse, so the answers I got will be no help to you. You can see a lawyer (we did), often for a free consultation. Ours took 15 minutes to get our answers and we were charged nothing.

    Bookmark   August 10, 2004 at 10:06PM
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if your mom has not filed a declaration of homestead for her home, that is the first thing i would do. (i am assuming it is the same in your state as it is in others) the declaration of homestead protects her residence from being taken from her to satisfy other debts.

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 1:06AM
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Thanks to you both I had not thought about that on the homestead. Texas does have that where you sign for homestead and I will get her to go right over there and do this in her name only. She is also thinking of putting the house in mine and my sisters name and she not on it so that if something happens to her and she needs to go into a nursing home she will not loose it and medicare will make payments for her to stay there. Many have done this and the house will be ours anyways.As she has ment to do that as well. Still would like to know if they can really do anything legally to her. One of them threatened to take everything she had to satisfy the debt, but I don't think they can touch you. I do know that in Bankruptcy they don't get anything so I would think they have insurance when something like this happens to widowers.


    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 1:14AM
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More knowledgable people will be checking in here soon, I'm sure. Just be patient. But is this debt all on credit cards? If it is, from what I understand, your Mom does not have to pay anything to anyone. Credit card debt is unsecured, meaning it is not tied into any property like your house or car or business. So even though the CC collections will bully her, she does not have to pay anything. The card with only your father's name has NO ground to stand on. The one with her name on it cannot force her to pay; she has to make sure she makes NO PAYMENTS on it, at all, ever again, and in a few years, that CC company will have to forgive that debt. That's the way I understand it anyway. (Cowboy, Max, help me out here.)

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 5:22PM
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Cube1067, thanks.

First of all, Connie, I'd tell your mom to relax. Even if the worst would happen and she'd have to declare bankruptcy, her life would in all likelihood not change at all -- except she wouldn't have to pay the credit card debt that her own name is on, which would be a plus for her, given her limited income. She would not have to give up her house; that's exactly what bankruptcy is designed to protect.

I agree with the others that any debt your dad's name alone was on should be gone. When the credit card companies send these letters, what they are saying is that if there was an estate, they'd need to be paid out of that estate, which is probably true in most cases. But if I understand you correctly, there was no estate. The home was already in your mom's name, etc., so basically your dad had no property. Personal effects in the home would automatically revert to your mom, since they were married.

Since all states are different, I do think it'd be a good idea to talk to a Texas lawyer. Find one who offers a free consultation; there are many in the Yellow Pages of any decent-sized city. Also run by the lawyer the idea of bankruptcy. Since your mom is now on a very limited income and she's saddled with all these debts of the past business, she may need this type of relief.

Now, on this issue of having your mom transfer her house to you, be careful with that. If you want to do something like that, you definitely need the guidance of an attorney experienced in elder law. If you don't do that right, the authorities could say that it was an improper transfer of assets and that your mom is not eligible for any assistance to pay for her long-term care (which I hope she never needs).

    Bookmark   August 11, 2004 at 7:43PM
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Thanks to all of you again. I really understand it for her now I think. She did go to a Attorney today and he said the same thing. But he told her to stop paying any of her cards even the ones just in her name that there was nothing they could do but harass her for awhile and to not answer her phone but to those she knows. He said with what she has to live on now there is no way she can pay them and that this was not intentional on her part as we didn't know he would pass away. But she feels so bad, she says "I charged on it and I owe it".She doesnt want her credit ruined. He told her why do you need credit at your age You cannot afford to pay for whatever they do give you. I think it is finally sinking in. She has charged a little on some of the cards since his passing to use for paying bills, until her house was paid off with that policy. It is all in her name and ours for the house and today she went and did the homestead change to her name only. So she should sleep better but know that she will not. The doctors are worried about her health over all this stress and the fact that Daddy is no longer here. Should she wait a few months when it shows no activity on the cards before she stops paying and also the lawyer told her to write the two big ones that are wanting the estate to let them know whe will no longer pay on them, that she cannot and has no money to take from her. Well she has a little but it is for us to bury her when the time comes but is thinking of sending that to my sister to keep for her in another state. As far as the house thing. we are not doing it at this time. My and my sisters debts are not small ones either, mine due to the economy with our business which just my husband and I are sole owners. One last thing. I was paying those bills online with my account for her. Should I call the bank and have them block it from them so they cannot take my money from me???? Please let me know on this matter as I am calling on it in the morning, do not want to take any chances.

Thanks again everyone

    Bookmark   August 12, 2004 at 1:54AM
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Connie, if you were using some type of "automatic" withdrawal from your account to pay your mom's bills, you'll have to fill out paperwork with the credit card company to revoke their authorization to do that in order to stop making the payments. If you were using a manual bill-pay system where you input the account number and make a payment each month, you should simply be able to stop doing that and no payment will be sent. Go ahead and call your bank and see if they'll just stop automatic payments on their own. I don't think most will.

Your mom and dad probably should have filed bankruptcy a long time ago when the business failed rather than transferring all this debt to credit cards. I'd suggest rather than just having your mom just stop paying everything, she should go see a bankruptcy attorney. She's going to have to live on $900 a month, and that's probably the only way.

    Bookmark   August 13, 2004 at 4:10AM
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Cowboyind, thanks for reply...It isn't automatic I have to submit it myself but not the bank info each time they have that stored. But I did call my bank and they have put a stop on both those cards that I requested and have charged me 15.00 for both. This will guard for 6 months then will have to renew unless she files bankruptcy. Which we are leaning toward. Also with the other accounts I pay for her I am thinking of closing that checking account and opening a new one so that they cannot get to those either if she choose the bankruptcy or follows his advice to just not pay them anymore. He says they cannot do anything to get the money from her. Even if they are in her name. At the time they got the cards there income was alot different then and now it is drastically cut. Let me know anything else you can think I need to do to protect her.

Thanks again Connie

    Bookmark   August 13, 2004 at 2:48PM
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Anyone contemplating bankruptcy needs to be somewhat careful about their finances in the time leading up to it. For example, it's not allowed to transfer assets to someone else to keep them from being taken as part of the bankruptcy. (An example would be a boat or some other recreational vehicle, which normally can't be kept if you file bankruptcy. Cars usually are not a problem unless the person has several or they are very high value cars. The bankruptcy laws recognize that a person needs a car for transportation; it's not a luxury.)

What I would do in this situation is go with your mom to a bankruptcy attorney. They usually offer free consultations. Decide in advance that you won't make any final decision to file bankruptcy on that first consultation; give her some time to think it over. But the sooner you get professional help here, the better, because that will minimize that chance that your mom might do something that could jeopardize her ability to file bankruptcy. (Don't worry about this; I doubt she's done anything like that, but better safe than sorry.)

    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 2:06PM
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Just to emphasize one point: Your mom probably has no assets that would be taken in a bankruptcy. Individuals are allowed to keep personal possessions, cars, tools used in business, etc. The typical bankruptcy filing is considered a "no asset case," meaning that the person filing for bankruptcy protection has no assets that the court will take as a part of the filing.

The likelihood is that your mom would walk out of the bankruptcy trustee's office a lot better off financially than she was when she went it. But a bankruptcy attorney can go through her finances and assets with her and tell her for sure what bankruptcy could or couldn't do for her.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 2:12PM
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Thanks again,
I do understand that. Today we all talked about her situation and a weird thing happened. My sister had a policy she found in my mothers safe box. She was trying to follow up on it because the company went out of business. We could not find where it had been transfered if any. The funeral home owner also was filing this for her if it could be, well it came in and it is for 10,000 she put it in the bank afraid that it would get lost etc, you know how older people do with there possessions, afraid of there own self. She still needs to pay for the headstone and the gravel etc for his grave site and has house taxes and several other home bills to clear up. Her bills come to about 2200.00 a month. She is obviously short. What if anything are they going to do about that. Can they take that from her? Also his final hospital bills are all coming in and they are in excess of 5000.00 after medicare paid there part. I do know she can include them in the bankruptcy right? This is what this we understand. This will be all that she has for the rest of her life other than then social security dollars she gets. She is more worried by the minute.Mostly she didnt think it could be gotten. And now it is here. She is terrified about it all and has lots of medical issues over all this with her doctor. Her blood pressure is dangerously high and her blood sugars are over the top. She is diabetic and before he died they were staying good levels now they are high. Her chances of heart problems are a given with her side of the family. She is worried to death now with this coming in. Also have heard maybe she should wait a year without paying any of those bills and then they couldnt touch the money. But its obvious she will need to use it to get by month by month. Please advise if you can before monday so that she will be more at ease calling to get set up for first appoitment.

Thanks again a billion please let us know what now??????

    Bookmark   August 14, 2004 at 10:18PM
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I can't offer any help as I live in Canada, but this is just so sad!! We work all our lives, hoping to have better senior years and then have to face something like this. It is hard enough to be left a widow suddenly (I was too) without having to bear all this at the same time. It is just too much for anyone. wishing all of you the very best.

    Bookmark   August 15, 2004 at 9:11PM
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Thanks so much for your concern. We have agonized over this all weekend long, should she, shouldn't she. Your right such a horrible thing when you get old to have nothing left. If this business had not taken such a turn after 9-11 they would have been better of. It broke my father down health wise and worry wise. Both of them really. They had so hoped that when they quit this business they could rest and even do nothing and get there health back. Little did we know that it would be his heart that took him that day. I miss him so much and know that the stress of the debt probably did not help him and although they were using all their monthly income to climb out of this mess there was never an extra dollar. He never said a word, guess he just kept quiet so that my mom would not worry with her health issues. Now they are worse from this big huge burden and we really still do not know which way to go. She needed that money that came in but it won't last half a year with all that she has to pay for and then there is nothing. The lawyer will take a good 1500.00 I am sure if she goes for the bankruptcy then all the other things that will need attention right now or very soon. Property taxes is one of them. As you know I am in this same business and it is a strugle to get the sales back up with the 9-11 still weighing heavy on me and my husband and still haven't gotten that web site where it can be picked up with the search engines. It just sits there eating money up every month to have the site that cannot be found... Is yours out there yet? I do hope so. Thanks again for the concern.


    Bookmark   August 15, 2004 at 11:56PM
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Alexina Properties

Connie, I do not have expert advice, I just wanted to tell you how sorry I am for both you and your mother. Have you considered contacting AARP and asking if they know of free/reduced legal services that might be available?

You could also contact the CPA board in TExas and see about CPA's who offer financial advice to elderly for low cost/free. There is free help out there, but finding it is difficult. You should also call United Way and see if they have any ideas of lawyers/cpa financial expert who could give you some solid advice.You might also check out this web site regarding elder law

Here is a link that might be useful: link

    Bookmark   August 16, 2004 at 10:07PM
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Connie, in general, no one can take your mom's money without first going through the court system and suing her for it. This would apply to the funeral home, hospital, and the vast majority of creditors. Certain types of tax debts could result in the government just take the money out of your account, but it does not sound like your mom has any tax-related problems, and it's doubtful she will given her limited income.

A bankruptcy lawyer should be able to be found for less than $1,500, if that's the direction your mom decides to go. You may also wish to consider a paralegal. In many areas such as bankruptcy, they can help you just as much as an attorney can for a lower price.

But I still say, start out at a general practitioner attorney who offers free consultations. He or she can answer a lot of your general questions about this or that bill in a way that no one here can, because you can take all of your mom's actual financial paperwork for them to see. Then if you need a specialist such as a bankruptcy attorney or paralegal, that first attorney may be able to help you find a good one.

    Bookmark   August 17, 2004 at 2:20AM
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Thanks to all, she has gone today and met with the only bankruptcy certified one in our area. He has advised her to file. Although he cost 1750.00 to do so. She didn't ask about a senior discount but that's my Mother.... She will go back in the morning and put down all her possessions etc and they will begin. Although they cannot include the first 2 we talked about because they are only in my fathers name and they cannot file on a diseased person. So If she lives more than 4 years it will be considered untouchable and be wiped off. If however she doesn't then it will go into the probate and will be taken out of whatever she has left and that won't be anything but the house and we would like to keep that and I and my husband move in there and pay my sister a monthly rent or try and buy her half out. But after Sept 9th will be her court date. Hopefully it will all be ok after tomorrows meeting. He said she may want to get an unlisted number that they will call her on the ones in his name for ever. Pray for us that she lives a long time and this won't happen. Thanks to all again if anything changes after tomorrow I will post back and let you know and Thanks to all that feel for her. It is so tough to be an elderly person and have to deal with stuff that should be the best time of their lives and stress free. I guess we all have to thank credit card companys for so many damaged lives. They are the worst things for anyone and somehow we have all found out we need them to get by in this world or so we think.


    Bookmark   August 17, 2004 at 10:25PM
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It's really too bad that your parents didn't take steps to shield their personal assets from their business debts. I realize it's too late for your mother, but anyone reading this thread should avoid getting into this situations. Consult a commercial attorney prior to starting a business to find out how best to protect your assets. It will be well worth the money you spend.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 10:20AM
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I would think the first thing she needs to worry about is anything that affects the house: back property taxes, etc. Your lawyer will guide you (for that much money, he'd doggone better!), but that would be the thing I'd protect.

    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 7:28PM
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After today she has paid her money to the lawyer and the court date is Sept 9th. It will be all over then. Her house is protected as well as everything else. They cannot take a thing from her. She has everything in her name now and has Homestead exemption as we have to in Texas. He assures her they can get nothing and will not try to get anything. He is a very good lawyer and the only board certified around here. So we shall see after that I will report back after the court date to let anyone else that will or may face something like this in the future, just what goes on and what someone else experienced.

Thanks so much to all who posted.


    Bookmark   August 18, 2004 at 8:41PM
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Connie, just to let you know, I have been to the bankruptcy hearing with a friend who had to file, and it's very relaxed and low stress. At least here, it does not take place in a courtroom or anything like that; you just sit down in a meeting room with several other people who are filing. The trustee will come in. He or she is not a judge but is a representative of the court.

Your mom's attorney will already have prepared a stack of papers that the trustee will have. The trustee will call the names of the people in the room one by one and will flip through the stack of papers the attorney prepared, and may ask your mom a few questions, such as, "Why is it that you are having to file?" Obviously her answer would be the death of her husband, and it's a good answer. There may also be questions about whether anything has changed since your mom filed. This takes just a few minutes.

Then the trustee will normally just say, "Okay, I'll be recommending this as a no asset case," stamp something on the stack of paper, and you're done. The official discharge of debt comes later, and arrives in the mail.

One thing to be careful of: Some creditors now are very big on attending bankruptcy hearings. They may come up to your mom after the hearing and say something like, "You can keep your Visa account with XYZ Bank open by just signing here." I saw this happen to several people after the hearing. Sears is one of the companies that most actively does this. Tell her to NOT sign anything like that. What they are asking her to do is re-affirm the obligation, which means that she is agreeing to pay the account even though the bankruptcy would have discharged it. The worst thing is, if people do that, there is NO way out of it. They can't file bankruptcy again to discharge it.

The only type of obligation a person SHOULD re-affirm is a secured loan on which they want to keep the property which is used as security. The best examples are a home mortgage or a car loan. In these cases, normally when you file bankruptcy, you contact the lender who holds the security interest in the property you want to keep and tell them that you are filing but that you intend to re-affirm that loan so you can keep the home or car. Then, usually the home mortgage lender and/or the car loan holder will have a representative at the trustee's meeting with papers that you will sign to re-affirm that loan, so that you will be able to keep the secured property and continue making payments on it. Of course, if you want to give up the secured property, such as the home or car, you would not re-affirm that loan but would instead forfeit the property to the lender.

    Bookmark   August 19, 2004 at 1:57AM
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Thanks again for the info. Thats what he told her so she should be good to go. The house was paid off 2 months agao with one policy and she has no loans on trucks and the car either so she is free and clear of any of that. Just all credit card and the hospital and helicopter flight bills will all be included what medicare didn't pick up. The helicopter to life live him in was 9600.00 for a 29 minute flight but they did have to come and get him at the little hospital where they live. I knoew more than the doctor did and he couldn't tell us what was the matter with him so we decided to get him to a real hospital.There he was charged quite a bit as well. Just cannot afford to get sick nor die. I hope all goes well for her the date is Sept 9th and I will let you know how hers turned out incase there was something unusual about it.

Thanks, Connie

    Bookmark   August 20, 2004 at 1:25AM
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I've been away and just got back on the computer. My note here will be too late for you but maybe helpful to others. I have a relative who filed bankruptcy over a failed personal real estate deal (several years of trying to make it work just didn't) and he went through a paralegal only. I think it cost less than $500 for everything. So maybe a BK attorney isn't always necessary.

I hope this all works out for you and your mother. I can imagine how distressing this must be, as my father died suddenly too a few years ago. Fortunately his affairs were in better shape and didn't leave debt, although also didn't leave a will. Not having a will could have caused problems but didn't, due to good will from the other family members.

Dealing with the grief is bad enough, but then having to figure out all the financial garbage on top of it ... come to think of it, I don't have a will either and should.

By the way, what business was your father in that was so damaged by 9-11? I have heard that many small businesses were hurt by that but have never really understood why. Was it a luxury item business, and people became more financially conservative and that hurt the stream of income? Do you mind sharing?

Wishing you well,

    Bookmark   August 23, 2004 at 1:37PM
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When a friend of mine lost her husband, she discovered that the insurance did not cover very much at all, so she just went to the hospital/doctors, etc and explained she had no money, but would pay the medical bills, BUT did expect them to reduce the amounts as she went over the bills, and found many things he got charged for and never received, or charged way too much. As she said, they will write off amounts for insurance companies, illegal people (who get everything free--another gripe), and she expected them to do the same thing for her. And it worked. They did reduce many of the bills, but she was very persisant.
Again: Review all the bills, did he get the services and meds they claimed he did
and ask and ask again!
Good luck
As to the credit cards, if they are in in name only --don'tpay, and unless YOU signed the application with your SS #, you are not responsible. They added your name without your written permission.

    Bookmark   August 24, 2004 at 12:05PM
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How is your mom doing? I cried as I read this thread. Hope she's OK.


    Bookmark   September 23, 2004 at 12:37PM
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Just an update to everyone who is concerned. This mess is almost over she goes to court Thursday morning for bankruptcy. It was here only way out. The lawyer said she could never pay it all anyways because of her age and low income now. The business is we all built and designed and handpainted a big line of childrens furniture. Their trouble was they were to old or got to old to do things theirselves so they hired help which did help, but then thats money put out rather than for themselves. We sold at high end Jr League shows and Big markets. Our customer base or area was the best in Kansas City and Houston. 2 days after a huge show in KC Sprint layed another 2200 off. So needless to say orders didnt come in like the past and some needed there deposits back. Houston same way. We did the Houston Nutcraker Market. A HUGE Houston event, Enron hit one month after and the same happened there. Enron was not all that was affected it was also other business that fed off of them so overall it really has hurt Houston and the buying. Deposits had to be returned there again. My husband and I started this in 1986 and are still in it struggling every day.. We were the first in Texas to introdue and build childrens furniture. We have finally built it up and were well known doing very well and then 9-1-1- hit. The phone quit ringing and shows went way down. People wouldn't spend anything and it has been this way since then. Our price range is from $5.00 to most expensive thing our Armoire at $695.00. We are a third of the price of anyone else and ours is wood and handmade not MDF or imports. Back then since many have knocked us off and its hard to stay afloat but we have so many customers that are from the past and continue to but 1 pice at a time from us till they get all they want Now some of them have grown up and are trying to buy for there new children. We can't just stop. We barely make our personal bills and have very little for lumber and paint and some months do not make that, so something gets cut short. I have a web site up but it's been there one year and not a hit so far. I cannot get it out there to the search engines. I have submitted a millon times and nothing and it is getting frustrating that you have to pay big money to get it there or NOT. They have in there sumbit form "$299.00" " THIS DOES NOT GUARANTEE YOU WILL BE PICKED UP" It is so hard. I have talked to many on the forums and some have paid over 10 thousand and still cannot get out there for the public to see. There are only about 4 top childrens furniture sites and all of them are outrageous and not as well made nor designed and painted as ours. I know we could bring this back up but will never know becasue we are not seen or listed. Enough of me. But this is what they were in and yes and no as to luxery. Childrens furniture is needed but incomes have changed and with gas food utilities familys are very cautious here in Texas as to what they spend. I cannot blame them, I can't buy a thing. Jut trying to exist. I will report back after Oct 5th to let you know how she did. I will be gone doing a show this next weekend. The biggest all year so hopefully things will be better for a month or two them back to January and little or no sales//


    Bookmark   September 26, 2004 at 12:18PM
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Connie, send me an email, I'll reply from my "real" address. I'm a web designer/developer and I can take a look at your site/situation and see if there's an easy (and free!) solution.

    Bookmark   September 30, 2004 at 10:28PM
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What is the address of your site? I would like to see what you make if that is ok with this forum.

    Bookmark   October 1, 2004 at 2:34AM
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I fear I would be in a similar situation some day with my in laws.
FIL has been self employed for years and never really made a success of it. Made just a enough to get by. A couple years back he became ill and couldn't work and pay the mortgage. I took it over and paid it off.
Since then, he has returned to work, but not as much. Thankfully, he is at least paying taxes and insurance on the property.

My concern is when he passes away, I'm almost certain there would be no financial security left behind. My mother-in-law is a homemaker and doesn't have an income except for disability (and maybe SS).
From their track record, I don't think they plan or concerned about these things. I did hear my wife mention they were concerned about funeral expenses because it was a recent death in the family. I don't think there was anything done about it though.

I'm concerned now because I'm afraid some (if not most) of the burden will fall in my lap.
I was thinking about purchasing some low cost insurance, which they advertise for seniors. Just enough to pay funeral expenses. Are they any good? Any other suggestions?

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 11:30AM
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My brother and I moved swiftly and surely to isolate our mother's assets when it became clear her failing health would preclude her independent life style.

That was 2 1/2 years ago. She has a revocable trust now. Assets are protected, we have powers of attorney, and the chaos that follows any death will be minimized. She has "gifted" every year since her health "crashed and burned". Her home has been emptied of its contents and her assets have been directed to its maintenance.

I can only tell you, that having an elderly, frail, mentally failing parent in your home and in your care is no day at the beach. To be perfectly honest, I hate the encroachment on my personal freedom. But she is my mother, she needs my help, and who better than I to see she is well cared for, indulged, given mental stimulation on a daily basis?

"Baby boomers" need to pay attention to this issue... , laws governing "look back" and estate planning change every month/year; you need to pay attention to politics! "Look back" for Mum had we tried to put our names on the deed to her home in 2003 was 3 years. With the trust it was reduced to 7 mos.. Get thee to a lawyer specializing in ELDER LAW and estate planning, ASAP.

Loop holes on inheritance and the transfer of potentially valuable real estate are being closed routinely, even as we're being told that we should reduce our expectation of social security and Medicare. Smarten up! move now and isolate the assets. You'll be glad you did.

    Bookmark   January 2, 2006 at 12:03PM
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Thanks for your advice.

ole joyful

    Bookmark   January 3, 2006 at 3:36PM
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for the poster whose folks live in a paid-off house but have nothing else: he should investigate "reverse mortgages," which offer people like his folks a way to tap into the equity they've built up in their homes, and yet still live in them.

Not saying it's the best solution for that particular case, but it's an option he should explore thoroughly.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2006 at 3:24PM
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MIL was what I would call a hypochondriac. She had many ills, many conditions, some real, some imagined. She was constantly running to doctors, called ambulances to be taken to the ER. All she had was Medicare and about $5 grand in savings, and she owed her home free and clear. When she died, she left a will naming her son, my DH, as executor. He filed probate (required in NY) and put the house on the market. He was mailed many medical bills for her. He had no way of knowing if the bills were correct. He called each Dr. as the bills arrived. Some asked for him to mail copies of the death cert,which he did. Some of the bills stopped,but some keep coming. It is now a year later. He sold the house, divided all proceeds among himself and his two sisters. He never paid a cent of any of these bills. Any that continue coming in the mail, he just tears up and ignores. The estate is closed.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2006 at 2:55PM
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Thanks for the feedback. I forgot to mention the house is in my name (long story).
Eventually, it'll be truely mine (and DW) after both in-laws pass away. Before I paid off the mortgage, they paid a little over $20k in mortgage payments including the down payment.

I guess I would consider reverse mortgage as last resort to provide income or care for them.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2006 at 8:49AM
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Thank, for the information it was also help to me, My father had died last September now all of his creditor are call me and all of them are asking about the liquidation of the estate and I real don't want to sell anything, My mother had pass in May of 2003 before my mother death they had great credit. My father decides to remarry, now his wife has all of the car and one of homes. The Attorney I have states "that she has interest in the estate and there is nothing I can do about it ", but everything was obtained with my mother and According to the state of Louisiana I'm a forced heir. So what can I do with this and how can I stop the creditors from calling me.

    Bookmark   January 31, 2007 at 7:48PM
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give them his new wife's full name, address, phone, work address, etc.

They'll start bothering her.

Because, though you are an heir to the estate, you are NOT his next of kin and therefore not responsible for his debts

    Bookmark   January 31, 2007 at 7:56PM
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My heart goes out to all of you. DH and i turned over all our land to our DD.s some years with the stipulation that either of us that survived the other had use of the land for our lifetime. In ARK after 3 yrs it is nolonger ours. DH passed 3 yrs ago I own nothing but my car. The DD that lives next to me and takes care of anything i need help with got the lions share of our 30 acres and mobile home. I have already given a lot of my personal things to DD,s and GC,S
A homestead decree is a must if your state offers it as it also saves a lot in taxes as well.

    Bookmark   February 4, 2007 at 8:45PM
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