When the estate has no money

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A way to streamline your estate handling after you die is to ensure your will is current.

By Beth Newcomb

When a person dies with an insolvent, or cash-poor estate, it can really put survivors in a bind, says Linda Nabors, who, along with her husband, Jay, is an attorney with Nabors and Nabors, the Strongsville-based law firm where John J. Urban is of counsel.

“When someone passes away without any assets, or just the asset of, say, a house, there are still expenses and creditors that need to be paid,” Linda explains. “Depending on the type or amount of assets remaining, it might make sense to go through probate court.”

“Going through probate helps to create an order as to who gets paid first,” she explains. “So, for example, even if there is a huge Medicaid bill hanging over the estate, probate ensures that funeral expenses, minor children, the executor, or a surviving spouse are higher on the list for asset distribution, and the money that exists, or the money generated from the sale of an asset, doesn’t get gobbled up by the entity with the largest claim.”

Sometimes, Linda says, it might be better not to go through probate. “We can help you determine if probate is the right avenue or not,” she notes.

Another way to streamline your estate handling after you die is to ensure your will is current.

“It doesn’t matter if you have a lot of assets or not, a will helps to ensure the right people inherit what you do have,” she says.

If you don’t have a will, Jay and Linda can help you to create one, so your loved ones don’t have to take on a financial burden when you pass.

Nabors & Nabors also offers Mimi readers a free legal services consultation in person or on the phone, with services at a contracted discount rate. Mention this story when you schedule an appointment. House calls and select evening appointments available.

To reach the attorneys at Nabors & Nabors Ltd., with John J. Urban of counsel, call 440-846-0000, ext. 227. The offices are located at 11221 Pearl Road, in Strongsville. Visit the website at Nabors-Law.com.