If our father passed away without a Will and had debt, what do we do?

UPDATED: Oct 19, 2014

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If our father passed away without a Will and had debt, what do we do?

My sister and I need to gain medical information and can’t do it without POA but we don’t have the funds to cover his debt? What is the best option to take in this scenario?

Asked on October 19, 2014 under Estate Planning, Florida


Christine Socrates / Christine Sabio Socrates, Atty at Law

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

A POA terminates at death so that would not have helped you after your father passed away. More information would be needed to advise you on this matter.  Is a probate estate necessary in this matter?  Did you father have any assets that were in his name alone without a beneficiary designated?  If so, if you need to open up a probate estate and get appointed administrator. You will be able to get the medical information you need with the Letters of Authority from the court after appointment.  If the estate is insolvent, the estate may not be responsible for the debts depending on the type of debt.  For example unsecured debt, if there are insufficient probate assets to cover the credit card company may not get paid.  It would be best for you to consult with an attorney to properly advise you.  I would be happy to assist if you.  You can contact my office if you would like.  Thank you.  

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