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WA Parents Passed Away - Deceased Estate Queries

Discussion in 'Wills and Estate Planning Law Forum' started by Darkitect, 6 January 2016.

  1. Darkitect

    Darkitect Member

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    Hi and thanks in advance for your help...

    Sadly, last month both my parents passed away within a fortnight of each other. Myself (A) and my two siblings (B) & (C) are left to clean up the biggest clusterfu*# of a deceased estate ...or not...

    The Sad Facts:


    - The deceased estate includes house, contents and three vehicles.
    - Sibling C is residing in the house with family.
    - The will was written and seen by the husband of Sibling B but it was never signed/witness/formalised/whatever you do to make a written will official. Since their death, no will has been seen.
    - Sibling C has no money, so siblings A & B paid all the thousands of dollars for funeral costs from their own pocket.
    - Siblings A & B do not have any remaining finances to purchase the $2K Letter of Administration to determine an Administrator of the Estate.
    - The house is heavily mortgaged with 83% of estimated house market value owned by the bank.
    - House Title has debtor caveats amounting to approx 10% of estimated house market value.
    - Tax debts amounting to approx 3% of estimated house market value.
    - Various authority debts amounting to approx 2% of estimated house market value.

    From this, you can see the deceased estate will be basically used up to pay off debts.

    So my questions:

    + So what I am unsure of is what to do now. I want to just walk away as the deceased estate is nothing but heartache but sibling C is not capable of dealing with everything. Will the bank that owns 83% of the mortgage sort everything out? Do I need to ask them to do this?

    + I want to find out if they had any credit cards or other bank accounts. Is there any way of finding this out easily? A central database or something?

    + Sibling C who lives in the deceased estate house, is not paying the mortgage or the rent. Does Sibling C need to move out?

    + The house insurance needs to be renewed, who should pay for it?

    + Should bankruptcy be filed for deceased estate considering debt is more than the value of the estate. Is there a cost associated to do this?

    + Is there a government department that can deal with all of this? and if so how do I action them to get underway?

    Thanks again.

    Yours,
     
  2. konichiwa

    konichiwa Member

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    I am so sorry that you have recently lost both your parents. Must be extremely hard, and now you're left to deal with this legal mess.

    Here are some google links that might be useful, that are relevant to your state.

    Dying without a will

    Make sure you keep all your receipts and keep a good record, including conversations with your siblings - keep a running record of dates and a brief summary (wish I'd done that now).
     
  3. konichiwa

    konichiwa Member

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    Just noticed this:

    It is vital that the house remains insured - do not let it lapse.

    You might have to pay it out of your own pocket, and be reimbursed for it later.
     
  4. JS79

    JS79 Well-Known Member

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    Before deciding on anything - I strongly suggest seeking the services of a lawyer who specialises in wills and probates who can help in regards to the situation and help you sort it out and decide what to do.

    See Get Connected with the Right Lawyer for You to be connected with a local lawyer.

    My sincere condolences on the loss of your parents.
     
  5. Jacqui Brauman

    Jacqui Brauman Well-Known Member

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    Hi - a lot of your questions depend on what State you are in, too. It sounds like an insolvent estate. The house will need to be sold, so yes your sibling will need to move out. Your out of pocket expenses and the legal fees would be paid before any debts. If not all the debts can be paid, then there's nothing the creditors can do. You would not become liable for the debts as the administrator of the estate.

    If you choose to do nothing, then the mortgagee is likely to take action, and it is possible for a creditor to apply to be the administrator of an insolvent estate. Also, there is no central place for information about credit cards and bank accounts - you need to go through your parents paperwork and then write to each of the financial institutions to get details.

    As you say, there is a lot of mess with not much gain for you, so you should get some more legal advice before you put your hand up to be the administrator.

    Good luck.
     
  6. Beverley Greening

    Beverley Greening Active Member

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    Very sorry to read that you lost both parents so close. You don't mention if your parents had superannuation or what they were living on. Go through their paperwork and see if you can find anything that will help to locate any means of support they had. The Public Trustees can help in this sort of situation but you need to check out their fees. Alternately a small local firm of solicitors could work out less expensive as their overheads are generally less than the big firms.
     
  7. Jacqui Brauman

    Jacqui Brauman Well-Known Member

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    Good point Beverley. But beware, if the estate is insolvent, you don't want the superannuation to form part of the estate and go to paying off debts. The superannuation can be kept separately and doesn't need to be used to pay off debts.
     
  8. Beverley Greening

    Beverley Greening Active Member

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    Thanks Jacqui. I never thought of that.
     

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