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Old 11-17-2015, 02:23 PM
Location: Herndon VA
106 posts, read 184,408 times
Reputation: 59


My Mother has just died and I have been named executor of her will (named in the will itself).
I am already on her bank account (have been for 6 months before her death) and I was her legal Power of Attorney.
I am going down to her hometown - Danville - to file the original Will along with her death certificate with the County Court and they are going to give me papers with which to open a new separate bank account (with I am assuming an IRS tax designation) which I will be putting her remaining money into.
What I wanted to ask was does anyone have any experience with doing this for a loved one?
I have contacted all of the people who I know she owed money and I have had her mail forwarded to me for the time being.
What I wanted to know was:
1) How do I "officially" announce her death to any other creditors who may have a claim against her estate? we already have done the obituary. (I have nightmares thinking of some outlier coming in during the last minute and suing because they weren't informed.
2) Unfortunately my Mom has around $11 - 12,000 in credit card and doctor bills vs around $1,800 in cash. She has her home - worth very little ( it is in a bad neighborhood tax assessed around $30k only) but that is willed to my sister who is a single mother who was living in the home at the time of her death and my brother and I both know that my mother willed the house to her because she is on disability and on a fixed income so the house - which is long paid off - is cheaper for her to live in than say trying to sell it - throwing out of storing my Mom's old stuff and moving elsewhere.
3) Has anyone been the executor of your parent's estate and how did you deal with it? Did you hire a lawyer? How long could it take? And how did you deal with bill collectors who are calling you up - even though you aren't liable.

Thanks for any advice/ help in this matter.
I have business experience - but only at very large companies where lawyers always took care of these things.
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Old 11-17-2015, 02:29 PM
2,563 posts, read 2,772,578 times
Reputation: 3472
If you don't know exactly what you're doing, hire an attorney. It sounds like a simple estate and shouldn't cost too much.
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Old 11-17-2015, 02:39 PM
2,670 posts, read 4,519,008 times
Reputation: 2117
My condolences to you, OP, on the loss of your mother.

Having been through estate issues more than once, I would echo John's advice. If you want to PM me, I can give you a referral to an elder care attorney in NoVA.
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Old 11-17-2015, 03:41 PM
Location: The South
3,879 posts, read 5,334,090 times
Reputation: 2742
So sorry for your loss; it is never easy regardless of age/circumstances.

I was executor but it was in Maryland. It was a fairly straightforward estate but it still took several months. There are deadlines for things being published, presented to the court etc. Your best bet is an attorney. Worth the couple hundred to be sure you're doing it correctly.

Best of luck.
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Old 11-20-2015, 08:20 AM
Location: Central Mexico and Central Florida
7,077 posts, read 3,427,247 times
Reputation: 10133
We are going thru this now, in Fairfax. We are not using an attorney. When you go to the Clerk of Court office in VA, they will 'qualify' you. They will give you a ream of papers and instructions. Some things have to be done pronto....notify all heirs in writing and give the Court proof that you did so.

Then pretty much all the work takes place with the local Commissioner of Accounts (a local atty. appointed to this position). You have to file a complete inventory with them...again, they will give you all the forms.

We are dealing with this long distance (we are in FL), so it makes it a bit of challenge. But both offices have been helpful, if we aren't sure exactly what to do, they have always been available to answer questions.
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Old 11-20-2015, 08:31 AM
4,711 posts, read 10,860,588 times
Reputation: 3773
My father's estate was very complicated. Although I was the executor, plenty of lawyers and accountants were involved.

What tickled me was, after tens of millions of dollars in cash and real estate had been distributed, before Fairfax County would finalize the thing....we had to prove that dad's last electric bill had been paid. 112 bucks!

Be prepared for crazy stuff like that...LOL,
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