What to do if my single parent sister died suddenly earlier this month?

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What to do if my single parent sister died suddenly earlier this month?

She had no Will, assets or life insurance and received social security disability benefits. The probate division, where my sister lived, indicated that I did not need to hire a lawyer but that I simply needed to contact creditors and provide a deaf certificate if requested. Is this true? Also, my 20 year old niece is (was) living with her mom at the time of death, how long before she needs to vacate property?

Asked on January 1, 2013 under Estate Planning, Vermont

Answers:

Catherine Blackburn / Blackburn Law Firm

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

The probate division is correct that you do not have to hire a lawyer or open an estate.  You are not responsible for your sister's debts.  You can contact her creditors and provide a death certificate if you wish.  Once again, you owe no duty to your sister's creditors and are not obligated to deal with them at all.  You can ignore their bills if you wish.

I cannot advise when your niece will have to vacate the property where she lived with your sister.  If the rent is not paid, she will have to leave.


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