Dealing With Paperwork And Collectors

Dave thinks it's time for Vivian to call the bluff of the collector who is trying to get money out of her mom's estate.

QUESTION: Vivian is the executor of her mom’s estate and living will. She has a power of attorney and is the authorized medical representative and primary caretaker. Mom has some credit card debt, and Vivian and her brother don’t have the money to pay that. Does she have all the paperwork to take care of selling mom’s house, which will take 3 to 6 months?

ANSWER: There’s nothing they can do during that 3-6 months. Just tell them that they won’t get paid until the house sells. You do not owe that money, and your brother doesn’t owe it. They can’t do anything to you. What are they going to do, sue the estate and damage its credit? Tell them they’ll get paid when the house sells.

As far as the paperwork goes, you need to see an estate planning attorney to make sure you have the right stuff in place. It sounds like you do, but in most states the last will and testament must be probated in order to process the estate after her passing.