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Probate, please help


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#1 arnesonna

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 04:06 PM

What do I do if the alotted time of probate is nearly over and there is still 25000 due to creditors and the business account of the estate has closed due to insufficient funds? Where do I go from here. I have no idea what to do, I've never studied law and I live across the country from where all of this is happening, thank you and God Bless,

#2 harrylime

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 04:37 PM

There really isn't sufficient information to give much of a response.

Where is probate occurring?

Are you the probate estate's executor or administrator?

What do you mean by the "alotted time of probate?"

Have any other creditor claims been paid while some are still unpaid?

Have any assets been distributed to beneficiaries/heirs while there are still outstanding creditor claims?

#3 pg1067

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 09:05 AM

What do I do if the alotted time of probate is nearly over and there is still 25000 due to creditors and the business account of the estate has closed due to insufficient funds?


What do you do? I don't know.

What do you mean by "alotted [sic] time of probate"? In what state is the probate occurring? What is your involvement in the matter? Are you the executor of the estate? A beneificiary? Both the executor and a beneficiary? Something else? If you are the executor, do you have a lawyer assisting you? Why does the estate have a "business account"? What do you mean by "business account"? Does the estate have any assets? Were other creditor claims paid before the account ran out of money? If so, why did you (or the executor if you are not the executor) pay some claims and not others, knowing that the estate didn't have enough money to pay all of the claims? In other words, how did the executor decide which claims to pay and which claims not to pay?

If you answer those questions, we can start to answer yours.

#4 arnesonna

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 11:44 AM

The probate is happening in Wisconsin, where they only allow 12 months to finish. I am the personal representative, which I believe is the same as executor of the estate. there was no will, nor any beneficiaries, nor any documentation done before he was deceased. There is no wife, just four children. We were told to open a business account for the estate to keep track of ingoing and outgoing finances because there is also a rental property with 1 renter. there was virtually no money his bank accounts. So no creditors were payed anything. I hope this information helps you understand our case. Thank you for your time. God Bless

#5 harrylime

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:05 PM

Did you retain an attorney?

You need to petition the court for more time.

Have the creditors filed claims for the debts owed to them?

What is happening with the rental property? Is it for sale?

#6 arnesonna

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 12:53 PM

No attorney, there was not near enough money for one, I'm still a grad student also, so I have no money for an attorney. The creditors have finished filing claims for all of there debts for around 20-25000 dollars. The rental property is just sitting there right now, still being rented to one tenant. So we've been using the money for that to pay for taxes and utility bills. The rental money is virtually gone after all of the monthly bills are payed. It is not for sale yet, we had a real estate agent look at it, however, it isn't worth enough money to cover the debts owed, What would we do after we petition for more time? What happens if there isn't enough money to pay for the creditors, or if the petition doesn't go through and we don't get more time?

#7 harrylime

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:42 PM

The creditors are entitled to be paid for legitimate claims. If there are not enough assets to pay the claims in full, then the creditors are paid prorated.

I don't see how the court would not grant more time. But, since it seems that not much has been done, I suspect that the court will at least slap you around some. At worst, the court may consider replacing you.

#8 pg1067

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 01:59 PM

The probate is happening in Wisconsin, where they only allow 12 months to finish.


Where did you get the idea that Wisconsin "only allow[s] 12 months to finish" probate? See, e.g., http://www.wisbar.or...ContentId=92182 (State Bar of Wisconsin "Consumer Pamphlet," which explains that "Probate can take two years, even longer, for a large or contested estate" and says nothing about any sort of 12 month limit). Indeed, for some estates, it would be impossible to complete probate in 12 months.


I am the personal representative, which I believe is the same as executor of the estate. there was no will, nor any beneficiaries, nor any documentation done before he was deceased. There is no wife, just four children.


Are you one of the four children?


We were told to open a business account for the estate to keep track of ingoing and outgoing finances because there is also a rental property with 1 renter.


Who are "we"? Who told you to do this?


I'm still a grad student also, so I have no money for an attorney.


Probate attorneys are typically paid with a percentage of the value of the estate. I have to wonder why, if you're not one of the deceased's children, you would have undertaken the task of serving as the PR of the estate.


The rental property . . . isn't worth enough money to cover the debts owed, What would we do after we petition for more time? What happens if there isn't enough money to pay for the creditors, or if the petition doesn't go through and we don't get more time?


The best thing to do would have been to have the property appraised before getting involved with the administration of the estate. If the estate is insolvent, it really isn't worth getting involved. However, since you did get involved, it may be impossible to walk away at this point. No way around consulting with a probate lawyer at this point. It may be that the court will order the sale of the property, with the sale proceeds being used to pay you and your attorney, and with anything leftover being paid to the creditors on a pro rata basis.


[T]he court may consider replacing you.


I don't think that would be a bad thing for the poster at this point. :-)

#9 Fallen

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:01 PM

"... in Wisconsin, where they only allow 12 months to finish."

I'm not sure where you're getting this information, but that's incorrect.

"I am the personal representative, which I believe is the same as executor of the estate."

If you are the personal rep, it seems to me that you're in over your head. (And I presume by "business account" you mean you (not "we") were advised to open an estate account.

"there was virtually no money his bank accounts."

Then it seems to me that this rental property should have been put up for sale.

You need to confer with WI estate-probate counsel. It's unclear why you would sign up to be administer of the estate if you didn't live in WI and didn't intend to hire counsel to address this. (It's not uncommon for estate-probate attorneys to know they'll have to wait until later to be paid.)

I'll echo PG's advisory "warning" with a twist: (Many) legal issues are complicated. Explanations and comments here might not fully identify or explain the ramifications of your particular problem. I do not give legal advice as such (and such is impermissible here at any rate). Comments are based on personal knowledge and experience and legal info gleaned over a quarter century, and every state has differing laws on and avenues to address most topics.  If you need legal advice, you need to consult (and pay) a professional so that you may have someone to hold accountable.  Acting on personal and informational advice from a stranger on the internet is a bad idea -- at least not without your own thorough due dilience/research and confirmation as it applies to your situation.  :)


#10 harrylime

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 02:38 PM

The big judicial cheeseheads in Wisconsin have established 12 months as a benchmark for completing administration. That doesn't mean that the personal representative can't petition for an extension. But my understanding is that the probate courts up there stay on top of things. And the personal rep better have a good reason for exceeding 12 months.

#11 ydurse

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Posted 17 February 2013 - 02:26 PM

Dear arnesonna, I'm familiar with you problem. If there are insufficient funds to pay creditors, then the estate is insolvent. In this case insolvent means the liabilities exceeds the assets. There is not money to pay/satify the creditor's claims. As far as I know, there is NO time limit on finalizing an estate. It takes AS LONG AS IT TAKES. However, your is insolvent and should be closed. Your supposed to file an accounting with probate. An accounting is simply a financial statement showing all bills,income,assets,claims, etc.. In plan english, everything financial. You file your accounting, probate reviews it --- approves it, declares it insolvent and closes it. Your finished. Then send copies of your paperwork to the creditors and it's over. The only issue is the rental income. Is the rental income current and ongoig? If so, then probably that income would have to be used to pay creditors as it is made available. $1000 x 25 months = 25000. And 25 months equals two years. This is open close for an attorney. If there is nothing in the estate from which an attorney would normally be paid, then he/she is going to look to you for payment. Find a lawyer, explain the situation, and let him know you only have so much to pay him/her with. I/m sorry to have to say this, but there are lawyers that will take you. You have to become educated and sharp about the matter. Of course, there are lawyers that will help you for a flat,fixed fee ; say maybe, $600 bucks. Wish you the best .




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