Collection agency re: my deceased Mother's debt

by Pat
(Cartersville, GA)

I am the administrator of my Mother's estate..She had an unpaid bill from Sears..We called Sears and they forgave the debt...I thought that was the end of it but Phillips & Cohen has called twice in the last year and a half but really didn't say anything except to ask who was in charge of her account..I wasn't here either time..I didn't even know who they were...until I found them on the internet question is... do I just wait to hear from them again?..

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Apr 29, 2011
Collection agency re: my deceased Mother's debt

My condolences on the death of your mother.

First off, you are not personally responsible for the debts your mother owed at the time of her death. As you may know, during the probate process, her creditors must file claims against her estate (the assets she owed at the time of her death) in order to be in line to get paid. Any assets that remain in the estate after they are paid get distributed to your mother's heirs according to the terms of her will. If there is not enough money in your mother's estate to pay all of her outstanding debts, then her creditors do not receive all that they are owed and the heirs receive nothing.

I am not an attorney and I am not clear from your question if the probate process for your mother's estate is ongoing or completed. If it's ongoing and you are working with a probate attorney or if the process is over and you worked with an attorney, I recommend that you ask the attorney how to handle your problem. If you have not been (did not) working with a probate attorney, I recommend that you meet with with one for advise about what to do. If Sears did not file a claim during the process, then I do not believe they are entitled to any money now, but again, I am not an attorney.

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