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My mom died in January. She has no will and only one family member me her daughter. The house is paid ofg and is in her name and so is her car. Due to her death and my greif I lost my job. I have no money to spend on an attorney. She had no insurance and was heavy in debit . I have no idea if there an agency that can help. Any suggestions?

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One more point. If you lost your job, and you are only receiving government benefits; you may be able to waive the court filing fees.
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There is no cheap route about it - it's a matter of following the law. You'll have to file in the probate court, however don't be intimidated about this. There are specific rules to follow. You can DIY it, or fire a probate attorney. The more you document, the easier it is. Keep all your receipts as you can claim those against the estate.
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UncleDave: It's hard to make out what someone is getting at when it's all one big, long string. (grin)
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Llamalover47 could be she has forgotten all about periods {grin}
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AudreyR: Can you write in sentences with periods, please?
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UncleDave: Good tips for Bettt98! I only hope that she is able to follow through. A person who has just lost a LO 6 months ago may be still in that "grief fog," so to speak.
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Bettyf98 your profile shows you are in Texas.

Do some Googling:
Inheritance Law ; What You Need to Know About Probate in Your State ; Texas

How Probate Works in Texas
Each state has its own rules about probate. Find out how they do it in Texas.

How to Get a Tax ID Number for a Trust or Estate in Texas
In order to settle an estate or a trust, you'll need to get a tax identification number for it. Find out how to do it.
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Let us know your state, so we can give you contact information for a modest consult; try to get a job to help yourself with the change (as this will stabilize your world); make sure the homeowners insurance is paid to protect the house asset; pay the utilities; leave a message at a elder law firm to point you to a proper resource.
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Hi Betty
If you find the right attorney, they will be able to help you. The affidavit of heir ship is just the easiest if you have two disinterested parties who can sign that they knew her, etc. I did a quick google and it does mention something about debts having to be paid in order to do that one. So you might not be able to use it anyway. In the case where I was involved with one there was no debt. You can probably negotiate the debt down if not away. You need to pull it together and find an attorney. You will be able to find one if you try that will allow you to make payments. You may have to pay more than if you had the money up front but look at the big picture and protect your property.
And Betty, I am not saying to do nothing. You do need to take action. Just don't fall for scams or threats. Get an attorney. Make at least six calls tomorrow and get started. Set yourself some goals. Walking like you are late is as good in some cases as an antidepressant. So go to a mall if it is hot where you are and walk. Or wait until it's late or set your clock for 6 and get out and walk. Take action to get yourself going. After you get started it will get easier. Unplug the tv. Don't buy starchy food. Drink plenty of water. In three days you will be better if you start now. While you are out walking you might remember someone that could sign the affidavit. Take extreme care of yourself.
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Thank you all for your help. On her credit cards she was behind about 6 months prior to her death.

Heirship document is pretty much out of the question. My mom had only one friend all the time she was alive. She passed away about 6 months before my mom died. My mom was a very private person. When her friend died it sent her into a deep depression prior to her death. I cared for my mom for 10 years. In that 10 years I lost touch with my friends and church. If I left the house to do something social mom would become insanely jealous. To prevent problems I would just go to work and home. I tried to get my mom involved in senior activities but she would not hear of it. My mom had always cared about her appearance. The last five years it was a struggle to get her take a shower or change a nightgown. She would constantly refuse home health. I beleive then when her depression started. Mom was a very proud woman and when she lost the ability to walk and breath on her own. She felt worthless. I tried talking to the doctors but medicare doctor she had was awful the cardiologist and other specialists said it was not their concern.
When I moved back in with my mom 10 years ago the house look like something from hoarders. My mom would let anything go. It was the main reason she did not have friends over as well as myself. My mom answer was we will clean it tomorrow. We had a mouse problem from hell and both bathroom leak so bad the white walls were green with mold. When she became I'll in February I made major changes. I drew out all 401 k out 70,000. I put her dog in a kennel and cleaned house. Many of her prized possessions were disposed of due the mice had damage them. I had to have a special clean up crew due to mice mold and garbage. Then I completely reminded the home. New ac heating bathrooms tile (carpet was from 1979 and was gold and red shag) paint install ceiling fans and new furniture. I also paid the taxes on the house that she behind in.

She only lived 8 months after all the changes I made. I had hope she would feel better and have a safer place to live. Instead it made her feel like a failure for allowing the house to fall in such disrepair. Her final months was a revolving door between hospital home health care and nursing homes.
In December she slipped into a coma and I was at her bedside for nearly two weeks. I return to work for about week and then she passed away. I don't blame the company for letting me go. I had quit my previous job the year before to care for my mom. This job I had less than year and was off during their most busiest time christmas and new years for two weeks then a week later another week for when she died. I lost the ability to concentrate and due to my grief I lost my job.

I have been without insurance for nearly six months and do not qualify for unemployment. I finally found a job and is trying to get things done but it's been hard. I still do not qualify for their insurance until 90 days of employment. It is one of the first things I plan on doing I'd seeing a doctor. I have lost a great deal of weight no energy and depressed. But if your care giver with no money it hard. Thanks again. For all your help
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I really don't think she should take her time its already been 6 months. I'm surprised the debts haven't been sent to collections already. Usually done after 90 days.
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I'm sorry for your loss. Please dont do anything rash in your current mental state. This can all be worked out. Just take one step at a time. Get the debt holders notified as they come in. You will feel better as you take action. Do this while you are off work so you won't have to deal with it later. You might need to send a copy of her death certificate to the companies she owes money to. If you weren't confused before you posted this question, you are probably really confused now with such a variety of answers. What you do does depend on the state where your mom lived and where the property is located. In Texas ( I saw El Paso mentioned) I think you will need an Affidavit of Heirship. This is a document where a couple of people who knew your mother, sign an affidavit (before a notary of the public) affirming that they knew your mom for x number of years. (The longer the better) and that she was never married to anyone besides your dad and that she had no other children besides you. If she did have other children and they are deceased then that would be mentioned or if she was married another time and there were no children then that would be mentioned. Whatever the case was with your mom. The idea is to show that you are the only heir. Then this document is filed at the county clerks office and when you sell the property the title company can insure that the title to the property is clear. This passes the title of the property from your mom to you. While I agree that you aren't responsible for her debts, you will have to pay the taxes on the property or the county can take the property for unpaid taxes. There are investors who look for property where the taxes haven't been paid. They will pay the taxes and take your property. That would take awhile but you probably should check on the status of the taxes now. If mom had stopped paying bills, she might not have paid the taxes either. You can view the taxes online in many counties. Some people just leave the property in the deceased persons name until they want to sell it. If your intention is to sell it then the affidavit could be done at that time and the fees could be taken from your profit. Your realtor could advise you on this. Your mom probably had a reduced tax on the property because it was her homestead and I'm assuming she was over 65. Depending on your age, you can get that also. You can go to your county tax office and discuss this with them. Google affidavit of heirship for your state and read about it. Don't put this off too long as you might lose tract of your moms old acquaintances or they could pass. It's a simple document. Good luck on the job search.
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What if we don’t have money to hire a lawyer?
The El Paso County Probate Courts cannot offer legal advice or give you legal information. Below is a list of lawyers and/or organizations who may be able to assist you.
• El Paso Bar Association
• El Paso Probate Bar Association
• El Paso Legal Aid
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You are lucky! You live in a state that has e-filing. The forms you will need are here - look at them to make sure they apply to your situation:
epcounty site

Once you have filled out the applicable forms, you can e-file here. You can start the process, save it, and come back to it if you need to find an answer or need more time. It even has training videos if you aren't sure of what to do.
epcounty site

If she was on Medicaid, you have to fill out a form and Medicaid will determine what amount, if any, must be paid back to them.

I am presuming you let any sources of income she was receiving know that she is now deceased and to stop the checks. You can pay all of the expenses of the estate and probate out of her assets and funds - it should not come out of your pocket. I sure hope this helps.
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omg - do NOT just start selling her things! YOU will be personally liable. ALL of her assets and belongings must be reported. Probate only eats into the estate if its contested or if there is an attorney who charges too much money (ALWAYS get a firm estimate of attorney fees for an uncontested probate - they should be able to give you an amount, and SHOP AROUND. Contested is a different matter - no one can give you an estimate for that because no one can know how much will be involved or how long). We did it for my dad and it only cost a filing fee nothing more. If she had a LOT of assets above whatever your state limit is, only then does the estate start paying taxes on it. What state was she in? I can post the rules for you. If you follow some of the advice given here, you could run into trouble. Let me post the rules in your state so at least you will know what they are, if you haven't already checked them out as I advised previously.
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Put the person's estate into probate. My brother, who is an attorney in the Sacramento, California area did this years ago for our late Mother. However, since your mother is deceased, I'm not sure how you go about this. My mother was alive at the time that my brother put her estate into probate.
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Don't overlook Craigslist for things such as lawn mowers, tools, furniture and other stuff that's not going to be needed by you.
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Take a week or so and follow the advice here given, get the ball rolling and then go looking for a job. Unless mom had a large savings account that your name was on also, or a good bit of cash stashed under the mattress you're going to be needing money to get you through all this. JB0928 is correct, this process is a marathon and not a race.

You might also see if mom had anything of value you can sell online? On Ebay? If she owned a house, it should be full of stuff. Some of this stuff could be sold to help you hire a lawyer. If you had siblings, it would be different...but being her only heir, there's noone to dispute you. No one knows what all is there... big items like the house and car are a different story, but there's no record of that little Majolica Vase that's worth 50.00 to someone on Ebay, that your mom got as a gift years ago... Things like these can add up, believe me. They did for my dad when mom died. He made enough that he would have easily been able to hire a lawyer had he needed one.
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Probate will eat into any profits from the sale of her house/car to pay off her debts. Perhaps you could fully explain to your company about your loss, and see if they will reconsider. I don't think a company can fire you for you having lost a parent (unless you didn't explain or just stayed home). Seek out a credit counseling business or an attorney who will take this case on contingency. First thing to do is get yourself employed so you can eat. I'm sorry for your loss.
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In some states the state steps in when there is no will and they will take a percentage of the estate. In my sisters case, in Maryland, the state appointed a local lawyer to handle the estate. The state came in and told Mom what she should sell my sisters property for. All money collected went to the lawyer. He kept track and guided Mom thru the steps. Since the house was mortgaged and payments weren't made the bank foreclosed, same with her car. Moneys collected were used to pay debts. The insurance policy went to my nephew. State can't touch insurance policies they belong to the beneficiary. When all was said and done thats all my nephew got. The debts were larger than the money collected. I would contact ur office of the Aging even if ur not a senior your mother was. They may have someone who can guide you. Also, call ur probate office. When ur Mom diedthe funeral director should have given you the death certificates needed.
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Check with your local probate court - do it online first and read everything you can about probate. Some states have "do it yourself" probate programs where you just fill out the answers online, then go in to court to get whatever you need to get the job done. Once you have looked online at what your local probate court has to say about what needs to be done, many courts have "lawyers of the day" who can answer your questions. Call and find out, and when you get there, and because they are familiar with the laws, can make suggestions and even offer to represent you for a certain price, and take their fee out of the sale of the house. Doing nothing will likely cause you to lose any chance you have of getting things all sorted out. The person who said the debts don't need to be paid is WRONG. Debtors have a certain amount of days to put in their claims, once the probate is opened and they are notified and a publication is made of the pending probate. Do nothing, and the town will take the house for taxes and make things even more complicated. I helped my step-mom probate my dad's estate, and the court was very helpful. They had checklists, told us what we needed to do, we did it, and it was actually pretty easy. You will need authority to sell the house, and need to put it on the market. If you delay, the people owed money could put liens on it, making it more difficult to sell. Good luck!!
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I'm going through this now for my mom who had no will. My mom name's was Betty. Contact the courthouse in the district your mom passed away in and let them know what's happened. Since there's a house involved you will likely need a bondsperson and the court can refer you to ones in the area. This is because her assets will be greater than $25K, at least here in VA that's how this works. The court probate clerk will give you the rundown of what you'll need to do which will be gaining executor/administrator authority. When you get approved, get at least 5-10 (or more) copies of the certifications because you'll need them to conduct business and close out her affairs (ie. banks, house sale, etc). Also, the bondsperson and court clerk gave me elder lawyers who can help and one of them is a non-profit who may advise you pro bono for a session. Because there is another family member involved they will want to know that as well. Preferably you two can work together on this because it is a painstakingly arduous process to go through alone. Anyway, there will be fees involved so get all that info and determine how you both can come up with the funds. You can call your local area on aging and social workers and ask for help. They may provide a list of local non profits and churches who can help too. Start there and take it a step at a time, it will truly be a marathon, not a sprint so be patient. Hang in there lady!
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Betty. You must see a lawyer. Have you been living with your mother caring for her? How old are you? Perhaps your local agency for the aged can help. Or ...This directory online lists lawyers in each state for the poor.
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When my sister died without a will, we did need a lawyer to guide us through the process. Her estate was insufficient for probate, but there was a 40 day waiting period in California before we could legally do anything. But we went ahead and dealt with her stuff anyway. As the lawyer put it, "If you are all in agreement, who is there to object." Google legal aid—or look in the yellow pages—to see what is available in your area. You may be eligible for pro bono or reduced rate services.
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Can you sell her house and also they say a dead person has no debts my best friend husand die she didnt pay his bills because she was not going to pay for his bills she didnt make them they was only marriage for a year just let them know shes dead most company writes it off on their taxes good luck
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Yes you need to do a probate, because the debt holders will come after the house. See an attorney before you lose the house.
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