I was the guardian for my cousin who died recently due to Alzheimer's. I had to move him out of his house 4+ years ago. He was in bad shape financially so I had to turn over the house to the lender and also tell his credit union that he could not pay back his credit card and line of credit because it took all of his monthly income to pay his living expenses. They never bothered me about because they knew what was going on.

Now I am his executor. When he died, there was a couple of thousand dollars in his estate due to the timing of his Social Security and pension and some tax refunds. The statute of limitations on the debt has expired in the state he resided in (3 years). My question, which I have searched all over for an answer is this - does his estate still responsible for paying the debt (to the extent it can) or is the money free and clear due to the statue of limitations expiring. I spent several thousand dollars providing care for him on my own and it would be nice to get at least some of it back. But I want to do the right thing. So do I need to pay what I can of this old debt? Thanks to anyone who can answer this.

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When you ''turn(ed) over the house to the lender", do you mean that you executed a Deed in Lieu of Foreclosure? Or was the home actually foreclosed? Real estate property records need to be checked to ensure that the debt was extinguished and confirm that it's not still titled in the name of the lender.

Also, doublecheck or have a transactional attorney check whatever you signed to ensure that there aren't any long term obligations that also weren't extinguished.

I don't recall what the statute of limitations is on foreclosed or surrendered property subject to a mortgage and HELOC, but this an issue you really want to verify, even if you're sure the statute of limitations has expired. I assume you researched this issue for secured liens?

(Not challenging your interpretation; this is just a serious situation that could come back to haunt you." I'm just wondering if there were any clauses in whatever signed providing that any future income might change the status of whatever you signed with the mortgagees."
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Talk to an attorney who specializes in estates as they will be the best people to offer you advice. Plus you should have been using an attorney from the beginning to execute your cousin's will to make sure that all legal issues are taken care of.
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