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Inheritance, stock and what is it that lawyers do again for the obscene $ paid??
Old 12-26-2012, 03:17 PM   #1
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Inheritance, stock and what is it that lawyers do again for the obscene $ paid??

Long time lurker, and now something finally to write about! I will try to make it short. Uncle died, he was a recluse, we find out three years later. Hubster only heir. House is outside of Chicago.

We will receive:
1.House Value around 30-40000, it is in bad shape, bad neighborhood and he was a hoarder. OMG you just don't know!
a. Just called to get Insurance policy updated since it had lapsed.
b. Had two real estate agents look, one offer on table, lawyer has it.
c. Changed the locks.

2. Checking accounts/Banking
a. Opened an account for the estate. Closed two savings accounts.
b. Have three more banks to check, come on...
c. Got his safety deposit box drilled, $150.00 No dramatic music while you wait either (I asked) lol
d. Found title to house and title insurance papers. Coins meh, death certificate.

3. Got in the house and found all the mail, that was the jackpot!
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.

b. Three life insurance policies, one on a greatgrandfather from 1910?? for
a thousand dollars, and two in my hubsters name (he didn't know about)


The bad news...
1. House is stacked to ceiling with crapola that multiplied into more crapola.
2. We are two states away. And it is winter.
3. Lawyers drug their feet for so long, we just now got letters of office to get into house. Should just broke in anyway this summer. Sheesh..
4. More than 50,000.00 in medical bills, he didn't have Medicare or medicaid.
5. Ran a credit report on him, and a lot of the medical bills are still attached to 2015.
6. Back taxes of 4 years soon, over 15,000 in taxes and fines are owed.
7. City probably has a lein against house for boarding it up, and grass cutting.
8. 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.

What advice do you have for us? We could use it!
Lawyer told me not to contact medical bills that is the last thing that gets paid.
Also told me to contact an agency that you pay to help lower property tax bills .
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:27 PM   #2
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First, trust an attorney MORE than a forum.

Settle in for a long slog. In the end, you may or may not and up with ANY inheritance, but at least know that you are doing the right thing. DON'T let it overwhelm you, just deal with it one piece and one day at a time. It WILL eventually get resolved. AND let it be a reminder to you (and all of us) to NOT leave a poo pile for those who follow us after we pass.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:30 PM   #3
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So you are very comfortable with taking his money (stocks), even though you did not know him, did not talk to him, did not know he died three years earlier, and you want to disclaim and walk away from his debts, his medical bills, his back taxes, instead of paying those off with his money?
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:40 PM   #4
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Bondi - I didn't get THAT at all from the OP. Rather the OP's atty was talking about the ORDER of debt payment. I would presume the estate will need to be probated, and the medical bills can be submitted as claims against the estate. Along with any other outstanding indebtedness. After paying off the debts of the decedent, the residual, if any, would go to the heir.

I suppose by not DIRECTLY notifying the medical providers, there is the chance that the medical providers may NOT know about the probate and timely submit a claim against the estate. Not sure how THAT side of things work. I **believe** though, that the executor CANNOT show favoritism by contacting one or more creditors to the potential detriment of others. Since heir has NO IDEA of the decedents financial affairs, he should let the process work itself out in a LEGAL manner. Let the notices be publishes, and let those with claims respond. That is the REASON for Legal Notices.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:40 PM   #5
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The lawyers seem just as entitled to his assets as you...at least they are doing something to earn their fees...
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:47 PM   #6
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Soupy - WOW. Don't judge the OP. She (on behalf of DH) was sharing her story. They did NOT "ask" to be the heirs. AND, I can understand the happiness of finding $100k in stocks. If the estate is, say. $135 (depending on the value of the house), there are (est) $50k of medical bills, $15k in back taxes and whatever for the city. STILL sounds like there is SOME estate for the heir. Not a fortune by any means, but there is "something" even after the affairs are settled.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:48 PM   #7
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Sounds like someone else was the personal representative. The house might be more trouble than it is worth. Though it may be possible to disclaim the house, the more responsible thing is probably to have it cleaned out or maybe even demolished. Perhaps in that process you'll find he also hoarded gold bars.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:49 PM   #8
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If your relative incurred those debts his estate should cover them.

I don't get the "obscene" comment about the lawyer fees.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:53 PM   #9
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Rough crowd today.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:54 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by soupcxan View Post
The lawyers seem just as entitled to his assets as you...at least they are doing something to earn their fees...
Believe me - you will have your share of work to untangle this mess! Just stay positive. The lawyers will get their share - no doubt about that. If you check with the local Probate office they may have some guidelines and help documents to assist.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:57 PM   #11
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AND, I don't get ANY indication that there is anyone except OP's DH in an official capacity. No other presonal rep. Nothing MY reading is just the hubby. OP - Please clarify if you would.
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Old 12-26-2012, 03:58 PM   #12
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Be sure the estate administrator has checked the unclaimed property registers.
With the number of demutualizations, there may be funds there. Found a tidy sum on a small policy my mom had after she passed. And she was not hard to find,but insurance co had no incentive so proceeds turned over to the State. (She had moved and notices were mailed to old address after forwarding period expired. MetLife was the insurer).
Previous dividends and split shares could be there as well, especially given all the corporate gyrations ATT went through.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:08 PM   #13
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Rough crowd today.
+1

I feel your pain. I don't have any real pearls of wisdom, other than to not let this run your life. My dad passed away 5 years ago and left me a real estate nightmare. Just the other day I realized that this is the first time I don't feel a tightness in my chest about any of it any longer. It's taken that long for all the bad stuff (and people) to shake out, and things are just now getting smooth again.

Yes, I hated paying the lawyers, but I finally had to admit that there was some stuff I just couldn't do by myself and I wanted everything buttoned up properly.

Hang in there, and just take it one step at a time. Hire a company who either handles estate sales (if there's anything worth selling) or a trash hauler who will come in & clean it out.

And yes, a good reminder to us all to remember those who will be around to clean up our messes. It's so much easier to have your affairs in order.

Finally, my motto is: "If you love your children, you won't leave them real estate."

Good luck to you.
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Old 12-26-2012, 04:11 PM   #14
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MelBay - THX.. but I am NOT the OP. My parents (and In-laws for that matter) all passed years ago.

re the not leaving them real estate - I **personally** don't see ir as that bad. FAR BETTER to leave it to them than to gift it to them. (basis).
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:08 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by rufflanding View Post
Long time lurker, and now something finally to write about! I will try to make it short. Uncle died, he was a recluse, we find out three years later. Hubster only heir. House is outside of Chicago.

We will receive:
1.House Value around 30-40000, it is in bad shape, bad neighborhood and he was a hoarder. OMG you just don't know!
a. Just called to get Insurance policy updated since it had lapsed.
b. Had two real estate agents look, one offer on table, lawyer has it.
c. Changed the locks.

2. Checking accounts/Banking
a. Opened an account for the estate. Closed two savings accounts.
b. Have three more banks to check, come on...
c. Got his safety deposit box drilled, $150.00 No dramatic music while you wait either (I asked) lol
d. Found title to house and title insurance papers. Coins meh, death certificate.

3. Got in the house and found all the mail, that was the jackpot!
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.

b. Three life insurance policies, one on a greatgrandfather from 1910?? for
a thousand dollars, and two in my hubsters name (he didn't know about)


The bad news...
1. House is stacked to ceiling with crapola that multiplied into more crapola.
2. We are two states away. And it is winter.
3. Lawyers drug their feet for so long, we just now got letters of office to get into house. Should just broke in anyway this summer. Sheesh..
4. More than 50,000.00 in medical bills, he didn't have Medicare or medicaid.
5. Ran a credit report on him, and a lot of the medical bills are still attached to 2015.
6. Back taxes of 4 years soon, over 15,000 in taxes and fines are owed.
7. City probably has a lein against house for boarding it up, and grass cutting.
8. 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.

What advice do you have for us? We could use it!
Lawyer told me not to contact medical bills that is the last thing that gets paid.
Also told me to contact an agency that you pay to help lower property tax bills .

The man was a hoarder with mental issues.. I don't understand why hospital or nursing home didn't sign him up for medicare/medicaid. It is a mystery to me.

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.
No will, no power of attorney, no medical power of attorney, no way to contact another living relative. His uncle made it difficult, we are just trying to untie all the knots..

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...
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:12 PM   #16
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Is it normal to pay a lawyer for service and they do nothing for six months? We did pay the attorney fees out of our own pockets, with no thought of ever being reimbursed..
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:17 PM   #17
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The wheels of justice grind SLOWLY. AND especially in the probate area. It can drag on for YEARS and YEARS. It seems to be a low level priority on court calendars.
Your situation is complicated by lack of a will or ANYTHING.

ANOTHER reason to get those living trusts set up, folks!
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:18 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by rufflanding View Post
Is it normal to pay a lawyer for service and they do nothing for six months? We did pay the attorney fees out of our own pockets, with no thought of ever being reimbursed..
He died without a will, it sounds like?

You have my sympathy but I think the legal wheels grind incredibly slowly in that case and yes, it may be very expensive to get the estate settled. Best of luck to you.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:38 PM   #19
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rufflanding
I have been unfair to you, I was put off by the joyous dancing figurette over the your describing stocks your husband will inherit, and I had a misunderstanding that you were trying to walk away from the medical bills instead of stating the orders the bills are to be paid. I do feel for you and your husband that the uncle left you guys such a mess, but the house and the stocks may mean you guys will be spending time and energy, but hopefully not your money to resolve his affairs. I take it any shortfall beyond what his estate has would automatically be canceled upon a person's death.
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Old 12-26-2012, 05:40 PM   #20
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SEE... we CAN all get along together... GROUP HUG!!!!!!!!!
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