Going through probate is a grueling 1-to-2-year process. Would you want to go through all that if you don’t even get anything out of it?
If you think the estate may be insolvent, consider hiring a professional executor.
What’s an Insolvent Estate?
An insolvent estate is when the decedent’s debts are greater than the assets. For example, the mortgage, credit card debt, and medical bills are greater than the value of the house and bank accounts.
There are also situations where the estate is close to being insolvent and you don’t realize it. Examples of this are Medicare clawback and unseen taxes. If you received medical care paid for by the government, the government will want the money back when you die. This could leave your estate with a large bill. Additionally, the IRS will look over your taxes carefully to be sure they didn’t miss anything.
Who Must Probate the Estate?
Many family members and heirs ask: am I required to be executor? The answer is no! You can decline or not act at all. Although, some may feel like they are dishonoring their deceased loved one by leaving the estate as a mess.
If you think the decedent is close to having an insolvent estate, you have options.
One not-so-great option is to let the state take over. There’s a state office (sort of like the public defender, but called a public administrator) that can step in. But, the interest in the estate and the incentives might not be the same as a person who you hire to help.
Instead, Hire a Professional Executor for the Estate
A better option is hiring a professional executor. You won’t have to do the stressful work yourself and you don’t have to feel bad about abandoning your loved one’s estate to the public administrator.
Even if the estate is NOT insolvent, you now have a relationship with the hired executor. This helps to make sure you get your inheritance. If the estate IS insolvent, then you can relax knowing that a professional is there to wrap up the estate.
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