After death, how do we protect assets?

UPDATED: Sep 7, 2012

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After death, how do we protect assets?

My mother and dad set up a revokable trust naming my sister and I co-trustees. My parents were “life tenants” but after my dad died, my mother became the life tenant. Now that she has died, the house which is a condo, goes back to the trust. Now, my mother had credit card debt in her name alone. I do not have money to repay them since I’ve been her caregiver for years. How do we protect the house/condo from credit card companies?

Asked on September 7, 2012 under Estate Planning, Florida


Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

This is a Florida question, so the answer involves Florida's specific protections for homestead property.  It sounds like your parents' condo qualified as their homestead.  If the trust was created properly, the condo retained its constitutional homestead protections, and your mother's credit card companies cannot take the property to pay the cards.

The question is what happens now to the property.  You should consult a Florida attorney to review the trust.  The trust should say who receives title to the condo.  If title passes to an "heir" listed in the Florida statutes, it will pass by operation of the Florida constitution and statutes and outside your mother's estate.  The credit card companies will not be able to take the property.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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