Many Elder Law clients come to us with a pre-deceased partner. Sometimes it is husband or wife, sometimes it is Grandpa or Grandma. But, all too often, it is in a situation where no one in the family thought it would be a good idea, or necessary, to probate the will/administer the estate of the first to pass away. This is always expensive and always a problem.
In Elder Law, where our mission is to assist our clients in accessing their Nursing Home Medicaid Benefits, time is of the essence. Every first day of every month that goes by without eligibility can mean having to pay an entire month of private pay for nursing home care. Without clear title to assets, we are often hamstrung in being able to help arrange estate affairs in a way that will serve the needs of our clients and their families expeditiously.
The fact that Grandpa had “almost nothing” or that Mom and Dad “owned the house together” doesn’t end the inquiry of whether a Probate, Muniment of Title, Heirship Proceeding, or Affidavit of Heirship is actually necessary. This is a fairly complex legal decision.
There are many misconceptions about the cost of probate. There are also lots of friendly neighbor types who will say things like, “well when dad died, mom just lived in the house till she died too.” What they don’t tell you is the hassle they went through when it came time to sell. Thinking that the family farm will never be sold is just unrealistic. Since some Probate procedures have specific limitations periods, time within which things must be done, it really is best to consult an attorney when a family member passes on.
This article is written by an attorney at Attorney Donald Wyatt PC. Always consult an attorney before making any legal decisions. To make an appointment today, please click here to contact us.