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My late mother lived with me for free for 26 years and I also provided care. There was no will.

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Why wasn't Mother paying you for room and board at least, and possibly for caregiving, as you went along?

You can't, of course, change this now, but it does illustrate for others the importance of allowing our elders the dignity of paying their own way, in their lifetime.
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Unless you had a written contract or document to provide care for her, then it would be difficult to garner reimbursement.
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Just curiouse, if she had an estate why was she living with you? Ru an only child? It was recently explained to me here on NJ that even without a will you can go to probate and ask to be an adminstrator. (executor is only if there is a will) You r then responsible to pay bills, file income taxes, etc. Once that is done, then the state will get a percentage but as a daughter you should get something. Of ur a beneficiary on any policies they aren't part of probate.
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... and if your Mother has an estate, why weren't you using her money to take care of her?

I read this a lot - I let my father pay his own bills. I wasn't looking to be paid to assist him, but if he had the money for himself, I felt no qualms about using it.

Good luck - ask your attorney. I'm so sorry you didn't plan ahead and put your name on everything. The bank told us to put me on all Dad's accounts and she said it in front of him and explained to Dad why it was important. He only asked me one question before allowing it. He wanted to be sure that when the time came, I would honor his request that the money be divided equally with my sisters. Yes, when the time came, it was divided equally.
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Patricia, I agree with Susan above. Without a written contract to pay for room & board, and caregiving, the Estate isn't required to pay you for said housing nor for the caregiving.

Is the Estate now in Probate Court? It will be up to the Probate Judge to decide how to distribute the Estate [after all outstanding bills are paid by the Estate] according to State laws.

My heartfelt sympathy to you and your family on your Mother's passing.
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You would need to confirm this with an estate attorney, but I would say no, based on the following:

- You don't indicate there was any agreement that Mom would pay you for any of these "services" rendered

- With no will, your mother died intestate, which means there's no directive as to where any assets go, or to whom. Here's some info on dying intestate (without a will): http://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/how-estate-settled-if-theres-32442.html.

May I ask why you didn't address this while your mother was living, especially if she lived with you for 26 years?
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