If my widowed father recently passed and owned a home that still had a mortgage on it, what should I do?

He only owned a car and the house. The car is fully paid for and I have the title in hand. The house does carry a mortgage of $49,000. I just received his life insurance check and I am the only child and I am sole beneficiary on all accounts including the Will. The life insurance is enough to pay the mortgage off completely but I haven’t informed the mortgage company about his death yet. Should I alert the mortgage company of his death now or should I pay off the mortgage with his life insurance and wait until I have the title in my hand? Will I still need to go through a full blown probate, or is there an alternative?

Asked on October 28, 2014 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

Christine Socrates / Christine Sabio Socrates, Atty at Law

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I would advise you to to consult with a probate attorney before you do anything regarding your father's estate.  It appears that you would need to open a full probate estate, but that would depend on the value of the house, car and any other assets in the estate.  I would wait to pay off the mortgate untill you open up the estate and get appointed executor.  If you would like assistance with this matter, please contact my office.  I would be happy to assit you.  www.socrateslegal.com


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