What is an heir's financial responsibility when someone dies without a Will?
My father is getting his 2nd transplant today and might not make it. He has no Will but has relayed his wishes. What happens to his property (motorcycle, car, computer, and cats)? He lives in MA and my brother and I live in TX. He is not married. Also, since I am next of kin, am I responsible for any out standing debt and or medical costs? Additionally, if his roommate is covering what medicare isn't, am I legally bound to pay them backor is that considered a gift?
I am so sorry for your situation but let's hope for the best, okay? If your Father should pass away without a Last Will and Testament then he is deemed to have died "intestate" and the intestacy statute in your area should apply. Generally speaking, if there is no spouse and just surviving children then the children inherit equally. Someone will need to be appointed as the personal representative of the estate. That is a fiduciary responsibility. The petition for probate of the estate needs to be filed in the county in which your father resided at the time of his death. Debts when he passes away are debts of the estate, not you and your brother personally. Debts - including the bill for the funeral and taxes - are paid before assets are distributed. As for the medical costs, the agreement between your Father and his room mate will have an effect on any guidance given. If your Father comes out of the operation and is able to make a Will then I would strongly suggest that you do so. Good luck.
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 AttorneyPages.com 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 go to AttorneyPages.com and retain an attorney to represent you.