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Old 12-26-2012, 06:45 PM   #21
Confused about dryer sheets
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I understand, I got too carried away with the emoticons. I was looking for more advice on probating an estate, if you have any. Even though we have a lawyer, it just seems like we should be doing more.. ya know.. I guess I need to buy a book on estates, I just feel like we are doing something wrong...Got off the phone with home insurance for the house, they want to do an inside inspection.. oh boy...I hope they have a hazmat suit and oxygen tank. Yikers!
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:53 PM   #22
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A few comments:

I imagine that the lawyer has already looked into this (I hope?), but it's been a long time since I've held a physical certificate in my hands - is there a date on it? Those stocks could have split since the physical certificates were originally issued.

Also, make sure to check his previous tax returns that he filed (I'm sure he included that in the hoard). Schedule B and any 1099s he received should show all interest/dividend income that he received over the years and the sources. That should tell you all of the assets he had, and help uncover any unknown accounts or stock holdings.

Healthcare providers are willing to negotiate the bills for those without insurance - ESPECIALLY if you tell them the situation that you're settling the estate of someone that passed away without a will and you're willing to cut a check in one fell swoop to settle things if the numbers are reasonable and fair.
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Old 12-26-2012, 06:56 PM   #23
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Periodically ask the atty if there is anything you can do.... a task. Something to run to ground. Kind of keep gently pushing.

But, so as the atty sez. Probated estates TAKE TIME.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:02 PM   #24
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The probate process is designed to be slow and there is little the attorney can (or should) do to change that. The measure of the probate attorney should be not speed but making sure the estate of the deceased uncle is being managed in a way that fully complies with the law without sacrificing any opportunity to leave something for beneficiaries and heirs. A book will be useful to help you understand that process, identify where both you and the attorney can impact the process, and possibly evaluate better the attorney's work.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:05 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rufflanding View Post
This hoarding man, that wore rags, and picked trash, had stocks out
the wazoo, (from the grandfather).
a. Total right now is around 100,000.00 depending on stock market.

The sweet ones... 1000 shares of AT&T, 250 shares of Exxon, 700 of Nicor
and some other smaller ones.
Incredible. It was extremely good fortune that the house didn't go up in flames, or the stock certificates got eaten by rodents or something.

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Originally Posted by rufflanding View Post
We didn't know he died until February of this year. He was a recluse.
Don't know how or who buried him? How he was living, or living on besides dividends checks.
I would be extremely curious about this. Where is the body buried? Someone must know something.
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:44 PM   #26
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I would be extremely curious about this. Where is the body buried? Someone must know something.
That is wild I wonder does the state cremate once you are so long in the morgue?
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Old 12-26-2012, 07:51 PM   #27
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I never heard of property taxes being frozen for any reason. Even after someone dies, the estate keeps being charged property tax. Some states charge a lower property tax rate for low income people over 65 y.o. - could that be what you meant? Of course there are 50 states, and I have only had experience with four...

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He should have had his property taxes frozen for retirees. .
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Old 12-26-2012, 10:03 PM   #28
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The medical bills will get paid.. I am quoting the lawyer who said in the order of probate.. medical bills are the last to be paid. The lawyer is going to negotiate with them, hopefully to the level that would have not been paid if he had medicare.
He should have had his property taxes frozen for retirees. That wasn't done as well. And for those that make us out to be money grubbers...I had to beg my husband to do something about the estate.. he was just going to let it go.. I told him he had a moral obligation to the memory of his uncle to settle his estate and bills.
Yes we have a probate attorney....paid him in feb 2012, we just now got in the house in december, therefore my frustration with lawyer...
I finished my role as an administrator of an estate in Chicago last year. Since you have Letters of Office, then you're the administrator(executor) of the estate. I'm not sure why your lawyer told you to pay the medical bills last, unless he's trying to work out a reduced total bill. Now it's your job to seek out all creditors of the estate and the lawyer is required to post a notice for 6 months for any creditors to make claims in a "major" publication. If a creditor misses this window, you're not obligated to pay them. You may want to look into medicare/medicaid and see if he was eligible and if so, if they can be retroactively paid.

The sr. citizen tax freeze is only for the reassessment that happens every 3 years. There's also a separate sr. citizen exemption, but you need to sign for this every year. Technically, once your uncle died, you can't get it after 1 year past his death. If there's an error you find in a tax bill or assessment, it can be easily fixed yourself (if you're in town or hire someone) and visiting a local tax office to fill out a tax error form.

If it wasn't for the house, you could've skipped the probate process altogether. If the total estate value < $300k and no real estate, then there's no probate required in Cook County.

As far as the burial, Cook County had all kinds of problems w/pauper's graves and bodies backing up (maybe 6 months worth?) and the coroner recently resigned over this. If the body went unclaimed, maybe the county buried him?
That's a scary thought, the cemeteries that contracted out this work were stacking bodies 8 high to a plot.

Request a Federal ID# from the IRS. Any bank accts should be opened w/this and financial transactions through this bank acct. You also need to file a final tax return for the person. I planned on filing an estate return, I talked to a CPA I had used, he mentioned there wasn't enough assets to file and told me I didn't need one. He actually turned down work! I think there's a new requirement that you now have to file an estate return, this went into effect the year after I was supposed to file.

Keep all financial records and log your costs incurred. I think you'll probably be funding the estate money to pay for misc. items. Before any creditors get paid, the administrator gets reimbursed and paid second (lawyer is first) for their services (make sure you bill for your service, if necessary). If the estate is in danger of going negative, the administrator will be liable for any money owed. Lawyers don't like to tell you this part until it's almost reality, then they need to tell the court. In my case, the estate was barely positive.

Good luck, it's a job I will never volunteer for again.
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Old 12-27-2012, 12:06 AM   #29
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rufflanding View Post
I was looking for more advice on probating an estate, if you have any. Even though we have a lawyer, it just seems like we should be doing more.. ya know.. I guess I need to buy a book on estates, I just feel like we are doing something wrong...Got off the phone with home insurance for the house, they want to do an inside inspection.. oh boy...I hope they have a hazmat suit and oxygen tank. Yikers!
Two comments:
1. Spend some time on the Nolo Press website (Probate Court, Executors & Handling an Estate - Nolo.com) reading up on probate and executors. There are also plenty of Nolo books in the local public library on the same subject.

2. Check to see when the last federal/state/local tax returns were filed. Good luck with that. My father went through a similar hoarding situation with his own father. It took four years to settle the tax issues.

A big problem with hoarders is that they can bury the valuables under piles of subsequent crap. It's worth ensuring that only you (or someone you trust) removes articles from the house, and then let the HAZMAT/junk teams take over once they're in the yard and verified to be junk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MooreBonds View Post
A few comments:
I imagine that the lawyer has already looked into this (I hope?), but it's been a long time since I've held a physical certificate in my hands - is there a date on it? Those stocks could have split since the physical certificates were originally issued.
In addition to MB's advice on old tax returns, if the share certificates are over 30 years old then it's worth hiring a professional to track down all the share splits and come up with the current value. You can probably do it on your own back to the 1980s, but the AT&T breakup was a real hairball.
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Old 12-27-2012, 05:42 AM   #30
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Definitely buy a book on administering an estate. It won't make you qualified to handle one, but it'll give you a good idea of where this is going and why.

Basically probate is designed to give anyone with claims against the estate to get paid and to find out what assets the estate has. There is a specific order in which claims must be paid if there is any chance at all of the claims exceeding the value of the estate. If the administrator varies from that specific order the administrator becomes personally liable for the difference.

In concept it is a simple process but the details can be a royal pain. It helps to keep that in mind.
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Old 12-27-2012, 07:04 AM   #31
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I consider the money we paid my mother's estate attorney the worst money we've ever spent. The totality of what he did for us was tell me what office to go to to file the will.
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Old 12-27-2012, 08:29 AM   #32
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That's a scary thought, the cemeteries that contracted out this work were stacking bodies 8 high to a plot.
I wonder how they did that one more than one in a coffin or dig it extra deep?
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Old 12-27-2012, 01:29 PM   #33
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Rough crowd today.
We're very good at judmentalism. Unless of course its regarding some obvious hustle attempt by a woman with 9 kids, then we must be kind.

Ha
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Now, that's what I am talking about..
Old 12-27-2012, 06:37 PM   #34
Confused about dryer sheets
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Now, that's what I am talking about..

Great advice today... Where were you guys yesterday..LOL
We know from the death certificate where he was buried, just haven't found out yet the how and why. It is on the list.

I am on the 5th bank that he had money in, 20.00 to 100.00 at a time. good grief!

For the post yesterday about lawyers earning their money and we are not...
Try driving 18 hours on a holiday week, cause that is the only time you can get off work. Wearing a mask and glove, while eyes and nose running like a faucet, (mold) in 24 degrees weather, House has no heat.. to dig through three years of wet moldy mail! It was 3 feet high behind the door! Used a snow shovel to fill up 5 huge storage tubs of it. Stomping it as I go. Crawling over 4 ft piles of stuff, using a crowbar to get kitchen cabinets opened, dodging possible wildlife, too terrified to go in a dark damp basement! Waiting for neighbors to come out of their house and yell at us for the eyesore of a house. Driving from bank to bank, sitting there for six hours waiting to get things cleared from legal departments. Waiting for locksmiths. Ugg.
Going through wet moldy mail in hotel room, 5 hours on the floor, four blackened hands, and 4 hefty bags later.

today it was five hours of phone calls and paperwork filling outs.
Please someone tell me I am not working?!!!!!!
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