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There are no assets. The credit card is a store credit card from a major chain, the only asset she has is a life insurance policy to bury her.

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Contact the credit card company.
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No asset cases probate pretty quickly with or without a will. Do your 30 day notice in the newspaper thing to search for / advise creditors to present their claims timely. If creditors do claim, fear not, they are doing what they need to do to show it was legally uncolectible so they can take the write off for IRS reasons. These creditors must show they sought to collect on the debt and were unable to do so
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No asset cas
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The house belongs to your wife. Including everything inside. End of that story. The death cert. Should be enough to close out the credit card with no payment as long as no other name is on the account. If you feel like giving some things to relatives, go ahead. This is how it is in CT. Check with a lawyer in your state. Your area agency on aging might have names of low-cost or pro bono lawyers.
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The siblings don't at all have to get a copy of the will or see it. The will as a legally binding document goes to the courthouse....where it is filed and become public record. Personally I would not give any copies out.....

I'd step back a bit and first determine a rough value of the estate- the assets of the estate- & then allow for maybe 60/90 days to determine the debts against the estate - like her credit card bill, bills for funeral, burial, medical, etc. If the house was properly transferred to your bride name & recorded at the courthouse 12/15 years ago then house it is NOT an asset. I'd do these two items first to see what kind of probate needs to be done if at all.

Find out probate types for your state, like can you do small estates affidavit, a muniment of take or just full probate. & if you can do this pro se. If your state requires an attorney that is going to have costs. I'd say 3K plus court costs.

Go to your county courthouse on line site to see what's what. If you live in a small county, try the courthouse site of a county with a big city in it as they probably have probate rules & descriptives in it.

Don't let her siblings pressure her to do things now. They are probably not going to try that approach with you, but get at you through her.

Also if you do the "take what you like from the house" event, put rules on this. Otherwise cousin Lucy will show up with 3 teenagers & a van and haul it to the top whether they want stuff or not as they are greedy pigs. I'd video the house & it's interiors with your phone before a pencil is taken too.good luck.
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In Illinois, regardless whether or not there is money in the estate, credit card balances disappear. When I called mom's cc company to cancel the card, they checked on line for an obituary and cancelled her outstanding balance. I don't think that was the cc company's policy. I think it was the law.

Wait a week and call.
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Speaking as a foreign amateur, I'd simply contact the credit card company to inform them of their customer's passing away and ask what to do. They probably have a system, and it's probably straightforward. They will need to see a death certificate in due course, I expect, but why volunteer information about her estate unless they ask?
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All of the answers so far have been a great help thank you again to all of you. We just found out for sure there is a will naming my wife as the executor of the estate with me being named the same if she does not want to do it. That will make things real interesting as she has told mew that she does not want to do it because of the stress she has had so far. We knew when her mom passed away there was going to be trouble we just did not think it would happen so quick. Now for my next question when is a good time to let them know there is a will and give them a copy?
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I also agree that as Mom has just passed... take some time to get your feet under you again. There is no need to do it all at once
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Gettingold - well first of all, it is great that you are so supportive and understand what all your wife has done and that her siblings are less than ideal. 15 years well house is totally your wifes and that is case closed if any of her sibs b*tch. And you know they will & it more than likely will be an in-law that will be noisiest. To this day, I have cousins & now their kids who ask about items from my maternal grandparents home that my dad (lucky him as he had the truck) took to be placed for consignment and that was in the 1960's!!! When my mom died, the worthless nephews kids all brought the consignment items up again…..

I have a suggestion (that friends of ours did) for you as the costs of funerals & burials are so huge (staggering wasn't it to find out, I'd bet), if your sentiments and religious concerns allow, that instead of a traditional one that mom has a cremation done and each of the kids get their own ashes. The standard adult box is kinda like a big shoe box in size and usually pretty nice black heavy duty plastic with some sort of gold stamp on it weighing maybe 5 - 7 lbs. What they did instead was get the FH to divide the ashes into 4 infants cremation boxes (these apparently come in pink & blue) and each family member got one & a certification of remains letter (you need this if you fly and take the box onto the plane btw). They had a small visitation at the FH only & at the end each child got their box. Having it at FH and not at the home was best as there would be no Cousin Lucy going through the closets incidents. Unless your late MIL preneed insurance was specifically requiring a certain casket and full in the ground burial, you should be able to adjust the insurance payment to do a cremation with a visitation. It won't be inexpensive but maybe 50/60% of the cost of a traditional.

If you need to deflect criticism, I'd suggest you find out what your state has set for the time frame for probate to open (aka present documents and get Letters Testamentary) and how long it can stay open till. Find out the specifics and that now becomes your & your brides' manta…."Mom was such a wonderful person, you know we are so fortunate that our state allows for X # of months/years to open probate as I so want to do everything thoroughly as mom would want it to be".

Good luck & keep your sense of humor going.
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As far as the house it was transferred to my wife approximately 15 plus years ago and she has been providing around health care for her mother for that and then some. There has been trouble from other family members in the past and it is not getting any better. They are more interested in money instead of the loss of their loved one. There are no cars or other assets involved that we are currently aware of. We do know that certain things go to certain people and that will be taken care of as soon as my wife feels up to it.
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Please do not divide up the household items, until you speak with a lawyer. The hh items may be needed to sell, to pay bills....last illness, cleaning the carpets (did they rent or own their home? Either way it has to be cleaned out, as in, ready to rent or be sold). There could be some items of value--and there could also be Property Lists attached to the Will, which say that the rocking chair goes to a certain person. ...you dare not give that chair away to person X if it really HAS to go to person Y. please seek competent legal advice.that is tailored to this specific estate, you could get into big big trouble if you do it wrong (and it sounds like you're already concerned about family? belive me, it won't get any better, you could wind up paying your own personal funds to defend your actions in Court).
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If other family members butt in, tell them that you appreciate their interest and you will expect their help with the funeral expenses. Tell them to put up $1200.00.
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GettingOld,

1. I would imagine that you could start dividing possessions, etc. as soon as you feel emotionally up to it. Sometimes waiting longer makes it harder to address the loss of your loved one.

2. Funeral costs are in fact exorbitant now; I've read that more and more people are looking to different alternatives, or just smaller get-togethers with family and close friends.

3. Whether or not probate needs to be involved depends on how assets are titled. It's my understanding (I'm more familiar with trusts) that if they were held jointly with rights to the survivor, probate doesn't need to be involved. You'll need to inventory the financial assets to determine how they will or won't transfer before making a decision on probate.

If in fact the only financial asset is a life insurance policy, I'm not sure there would be anything to probate. Is there a house, car?

Others here are better versed on this issue than I am.

We use trusts, so assets transfer automatically on death as long as they're retitled in the name of the trust and embodied as a trust asset.

4. What kind of problems are the other family members causing? Wanting assets, complaining about their share, or lack thereof? If they're not named in the Will, that resolves the issue of what they might inherit, but that doesn't mean that they'll accept that without some squabbling.
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We did find out there is a will and as far as we know my wife s the executor of the will. We will know for sure tomorrow if she is how much time is good to wait before we start dividing the house hold items and furniture and any funds that could be left over from the funeral if there is it won 't be much I was SURPRISED at what funeral cost now, it seems like a lot for a hole in the ground. Should we take it to probate as there are a lot of problems with other family members. Thank you for all of the comments so far it gave us a lot to think about
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We got 10 death certs.. better safe than sorry. You need one for all creditors ( I see you only have one.. that is good) You will also need one for any retirement/ss, and for bank accounts if any are there ( even a small one) Good luck, and if your moms name is the only one on the account you may be ok
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Did she have a will?
If she died with a will but no assets & the insurance policy is tied to her funeral & burial & not an asset of the estate, then whomever is named executor can decide whether to do probate or not. There is no rush to open probate either. Check with your state but most allow for a year to even open probate if you decide to.

If no will, she died intestate & it's the states problem.

The cc is an unsecured creditor & the debt died with her.

The FH usually will order death certificates as part of the process. Although usually at a separate cost not covered by insurance policy. I'd suggest you or whomever is the excutor order 1for each of her children and maybe a couple others. 1 goes with a note to the CC. If she rented and had utilities or phone, they may want one also to close out the account. If the funeral $ is actually a life insurance policy rather than a preneed funeral one, the life insurance co will need the death certificate to get policy paid out. FH are pretty knowledgeable as to how this works but please be clear to emphasize that there are no other funds but the insurance policy if that is the case. Funerals average cost 8 - 10K.

Sorry for your loss.
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You need to contact the credit card company. When you get a death certificate, they'll want you to provide it to them. That may make it go away - it depends on how much she owes. In many states, it's a good idea to start a probate estate with the local probate court, even if there aren't any assets. Perhaps you can check with a no-or-low cost attorney thru legal services (available in every state).
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