"At My Wits End" (Estate Admin.)

Updated on September 13, 2008
D.C. asks from Glenolden, PA
3 answers

My mother died a few months ago from cancer. It's just me and my brother (who has a demanding job and family). My husband wants to help, but he has enough on his plate and don't want to bother him. So... I want to know is a lawyer neccessary for Estate Administration? My mother pretty much didn't have alot of money in the bank and no real estate. Bill collectors are hounding me to settle with money I don't have or I don't want to give up. She did leave me with a car, which is already in my name. Can I do this on my own with legal representation? Any suggestions, comments, "need to know" would be great. Since she had little with excessive amount of medical bills (no med insurance), I wasn't sure if it is necessary to speak with a lawyer. In all actually she did not leave an "estate" per se.

What can I do next?

  • Add yourAnswer own comment
  • Ask your own question Add Question
  • Join the Mamapedia community Mamapedia
  • as inappropriate
  • this with your friends

So What Happened?

Thanks to all the mothers for your help. I spoke with a lawyer and realized I will be putting out more than the worth of her estate. The clerk at the courthouse was very helpful and it is a possibility that I may not have to put her "estate in probate". If so, it will be a simple process since her estate isn't of large value.

More Answers



answers from Philadelphia on

I just wanted to say i am sorry about your mother. I lost a sister to cancer :( I wish you well with what you decide...i do know that my mom hired lawyers when her mother, aunt and uncle died.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

Sorry to hear about your mother's passing. I have been in your position and understand what you are going through. Did your mother have a will? Was anyone appointed Executor or Executrix of her estate? They would be the ones responsible for settling the estate. I did my Aunts estate on my own with help with friends and family and hired a lawyer to deal with the taxes. If you don't have money and you don't have an estate, then I don't see why you would have to deal with inheritance tax anyway. There are books you can get at bookstores about settling estates. I'd say go to Barnes and Noble or something like it and find a book, get a coffee and peruse it to see if it answers any of your questions. There is an order of what should be paid...like funeral expenses is at the top of the list. You will need to take the will, if there is one to the county court house. I am trying to help you off the top of my head. It has been 9 years since I had to do my Aunts estate. You have to watch lawyers. Some will tell you you need them to do silly things, like hold your hand and walk you across the street to the court house to (can't remember terminology at the moment) hand in the will. I used a real baddy in Chester Co., and swiftly got rid of him for someone who was a friend of a friend in Delaware Co. I may be naive, but if you are not the dead person I don't see why they can ask you to pay for bills that aren't for you. I think you should first find out what you need to pay in order of importance. Maybe see a lawyer for free to find this info out if it isn't in a book. Once the money is gone...it is gone.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from Philadelphia on

My Dad died in '98 and I was an only child. I did have to get a lawyer, only because there was a considerable estate, and a woman trying to claim she was his "common law wife". Anyway!

You can get a consultation from a lawyer for free to talk about what you may need. So I'd use that for all its worth. There will be taxes of course too. You have to file whether there was $$ or not. So you know if you could handle that or not.

There were a few bills from my father that I didn't pay. Can't have a bad credit report for a dead guy. But these are all questions I'd ask a lawyer during a consultation.

I don't know if I helped much, but I guess my best advice is talk to a lawyer for free to see if you need one.

1 mom found this helpful
For Updates and Special Promotions
Follow Us

Related Questions