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Stradog

When is an EIN required for the Estate

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I actually have a couple of questions, first my mom was the executor of my dad's will and for some reason I don't believe she put everything into probate like she should have.  I have been living in a house that my dad bought and had been paying the mortgage, until about a year ago, the house went to a foreclosure auction in June and was sold.  The insurance company for the house sent a refund check in my dads name and the bank won't cash it .  They told my mom she needed to open an Estate account and she would need an EIN before they would cash it.  Now my questions are shouldn't that house actually have been placed in the probate?  Is the bank correct in having her open an account and obtaining an EIN?  I am also curious why that wasn't done when my dad died and she, with an attorney, filed whatever paperwork they had to file for probate and showing she is the executor of the will?  I am not sure what items should have been placed in the probate, but I asked her a couple of times if the house I am living in was in the probate or not and got two different answers.  One time she told me it was and one time she said it wasn't.  I was intentionally kept out of the loop   for the probate and the reading of the will so I have no idea what was in either document.  I never pressed the issue, and since I had been making the house payments, the money from that insurance  refund check in my dad's name should be mine because the judge already signed off on the probate is what I understand? I really don't know anything about this area of law so any help or advice, suggestions, a link to Law for Dummies or any other links that will help explain the process and why it has to be so complicated to die, or complicated for the family?       

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2 hours ago, Stradog said:

Now my questions are shouldn't that house actually have been placed in the probate?

 

No idea because we don't know how the names were listed on the deed.

 

2 hours ago, Stradog said:

Is the bank correct in having her open an account and obtaining an EIN?

 

Probably.

 

 

https://smartasset.com/estate-planning/texas-inheritance-laws

 

 

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2 hours ago, Stradog said:

They told my mom she needed to open an Estate account and she would need an EIN before they would cash it.  Is the bank correct in having her open an account and obtaining an EIN? 

 

Yes.

 

Takes a few minutes on the IRS website.

 

https://www.irs.gov/businesses/small-businesses-self-employed/how-to-apply-for-an-ein

 

2 hours ago, Stradog said:

Now my questions are shouldn't that house actually have been placed in the probate?

 

Yes, if the house was solely in your Dad's name.

 

No, if the house was owned jointly with right of survivorship. Read the deed.

 

2 hours ago, Stradog said:

I am also curious why that wasn't done when my dad died and she, with an attorney, filed whatever paperwork they had to file for probate and showing she is the executor of the will?

 

Only your Mom can answer that question.

 

2 hours ago, Stradog said:

I had been making the house payments

 

Were you paying the mortgage company or your Mom? If you were paying the mortgage company properly, the house shouldn't have gone to foreclosure.

 

2 hours ago, Stradog said:

the money from that insurance  refund check in my dad's name should be mine

 

No. It belongs to your Dad's estate, which appears to need probate before you get anything.

 

You can check with the probate court to see if probate was opened at some point. If it was, the will should be in the case file. If it wasn't you can open probate under intestacy and you may be able to claim a share of his estate, if there is anything worth claiming.

 

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And just for the record.  Your paying of the mortgage did not give you any ownership rights to the home. You were a renter. 

 

In fact, if you were contractually obligated to pay it and you didn't causing the loss of the home the estate may well have a claim against you. 

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8 minutes ago, PayrollHRGuy said:

In fact, if you were contractually obligated to pay it and you didn't causing the loss of the home the estate may well have a claim against you.

 

For the unpaid rent, not for the loss of the home. It would have been up to the owner to enforce the rental agreement while alive. If he didn't, there might not be an actionable claim for rent (laches).

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3 hours ago, Stradog said:

Now my questions are shouldn't that house actually have been placed in the probate?

 

No way to know without knowing how the title to the house was held.

 

 

3 hours ago, Stradog said:

I was intentionally kept out of the loop   for the probate and the reading of the will so I have no idea what was in either document.

 

I'm not sure what you mean by "either document."  The will and what else?  Also, the "reading of the will" is something that happens in movies and TV shows, but it rarely happens in the real world.  At any point did you make any effort to obtain documents relating to the probate from the court?

 

 

3 hours ago, Stradog said:

since I had been making the house payments, the money from that insurance  refund check in my dad's name should be mine because the judge already signed off on the probate is what I understand?

 

Despite your use of a question mark, this sentence isn't a question.  Also, the fact that you had been making the mortgage payments does not, without more, entitle you to anything from the foreclosure sale.

 

Beyond that, I'm sure there are hundreds or thousands of "probate for dummies" type articles on the internet, but if you want some clarity regarding your father's estate, you should consult with a local attorney who can review the relevant documents and provide advice based on the unique facts of the case.

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If this estate has virtually no assets, there was no need for her to go to probate.

 

Do you know how much equity your father had in the home, or what the balance due on the mortgage was?  If you wanted to continue to make the payments to eventually own the home, you could have made arrangements with the mortgage company to do that but it's too late for that now.  Too bad you didn't know about this before.

 

Getting an EIN is very easy and hopefully she will take steps to do that.  The check is okay as written.

 

If this estate has other debts, then that may wipe out the value of the check that will be deposited.

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