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Death of a parent and how to deal with terrible finances?

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    #16
    Definitely my grandmother gets $900 SS a month and a lot of free benefits like medicaid and everything covered. She used to get section 8 and still gets food stamps.
    LivingAlmostLarge Blog

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      #17
      So i have spent the last two days trying to deal with all of this. My brother and I decided it would be good to get dad's name off of everything we could. We have no idea what types of surprises he has left us (we have already found many) and would like to erase his ties to my mom as much as possible. So we split the list and called all the utilities. All but one was actually willing, with a bit of sweet talking, to add her as an authorized user to his account and then mark him as deceased which will result in her becoming the primary account holder without undergoing a credit check. The credit union, because they know my brother and it is a small town, let my mom open her own checking account without running her credit. The cell phone company is the one who wouldn't help us out, so I will simply add her to my cell phone plan. Goodness, death sure is a hassle for the still living, especially when the deceased intentionally make it chaotic. Anyway, maybe this info will help someone else someday. We have a lot more to work through, but I think it's progressing as well as it can.

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        #18
        Originally posted by HundredK View Post
        So i have spent the last two days trying to deal with all of this. My brother and I decided it would be good to get dad's name off of everything we could. We have no idea what types of surprises he has left us (we have already found many) and would like to erase his ties to my mom as much as possible. So we split the list and called all the utilities. All but one was actually willing, with a bit of sweet talking, to add her as an authorized user to his account and then mark him as deceased which will result in her becoming the primary account holder without undergoing a credit check. The credit union, because they know my brother and it is a small town, let my mom open her own checking account without running her credit. The cell phone company is the one who wouldn't help us out, so I will simply add her to my cell phone plan. Goodness, death sure is a hassle for the still living, especially when the deceased intentionally make it chaotic. Anyway, maybe this info will help someone else someday. We have a lot more to work through, but I think it's progressing as well as it can.
        Your adding her as an authorized user to one of your credit cards should help with her credit repair. But unless she plans to move or take on any debt, I doubt she'd NEED a great credir score. What she needs to do is rebuild her finances so she has a decent income every month and housing she can afford and health insurance, esp now that she's 65. How is her health? Does she get health insurance through her work?

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          #19
          Originally posted by HundredK View Post
          We have no idea what types of surprises he has left us (we have already found many)

          The cell phone company is the one who wouldn't help us out, so I will simply add her to my cell phone plan
          If you haven't already, pull her credit report from all 3 bureaus. I'd pull his also. That could reveal things you haven't found yet.

          As for the cell phone, I think family plans are greatly underutilized. It can be a lot cheaper to put a bunch of people on one plan and "family" doesn't mean you all need to live together or even be related. We have 5 people from 3 households on our plan.
          Steve

          * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
          * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
          * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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            #20
            Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
            As for the cell phone, I think family plans are greatly underutilized. It can be a lot cheaper to put a bunch of people on one plan and "family" doesn't mean you all need to live together or even be related. We have 5 people from 3 households on our plan.
            If T-Mobile service is decent in the person's area and they don't use much data, Mint Mobile 3Gb data plan for $15 per month could be an option. I've been on that basic plan for 17 months now.
            "I'd buy that for a dollar!"

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              #21
              Originally posted by Scallywag View Post

              Your adding her as an authorized user to one of your credit cards should help with her credit repair. But unless she plans to move or take on any debt, I doubt she'd NEED a great credir score. What she needs to do is rebuild her finances so she has a decent income every month and housing she can afford and health insurance, esp now that she's 65. How is her health? Does she get health insurance through her work?
              Where they live, I believe they still run credit for things like auto insurance, and yeah, now that we've dealt with the utilities, we can take our time repairing it. I'm definitely going to add her as an authorized user.... the only thing I'm waiting for is because there are some large hospital bills on her credit report we thought my dad had paid, and I'm applying to see if they can offer any assistance - they will be running her credit to make that determination, and I'm worried if I have a big fat available credit limit on her credit, they'll say no. So I'm just waiting until I hear back on that. Her health insurance is Medicare with some sort of a Humana add-on, I don't entirely understand the nuances of that yet.

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                #22
                Originally posted by disneysteve View Post

                If you haven't already, pull her credit report from all 3 bureaus. I'd pull his also. That could reveal things you haven't found yet.

                As for the cell phone, I think family plans are greatly underutilized. It can be a lot cheaper to put a bunch of people on one plan and "family" doesn't mean you all need to live together or even be related. We have 5 people from 3 households on our plan.
                Yes, I pulled both their credit reports. My dad's was great - he paid every bill he ever had under his own name. He did die with lots of credit card debt, but he always kept up the minimum payments at least. They live in a joint property joint debt state, so that'll be my mom's burden to pay back (I will try my best to negotiate it). My poor mom though, it's a mess. So many collections, late payments, etc. Lots of credit card debt with payments made occasionally, late fees galore, enormous interest rates. And keep in mind he fully managed all of their finances and never would allow her to look or be involved, actively hid everything from her, told her everything was fine and that she was too dumb to understand finances. Such a great guy, huh?

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                  #23
                  Originally posted by HundredK View Post
                  He did die with lots of credit card debt, but he always kept up the minimum payments at least. They live in a joint property joint debt state, so that'll be my mom's burden to pay back (I will try my best to negotiate it). My poor mom though, it's a mess. So many collections, late payments, etc. Lots of credit card debt with payments made occasionally, late fees galore, enormous interest rates.
                  You said in your first post that she has no savings and no assets. I'd say she need not worry about paying anything back because she has no means of doing so. Let them send her collection letters for the rest of her days. If they want to sue her, let them sue her. There's nothing for them to get from the sounds of it. I would say she should file bankruptcy but there's really no need to do that if she truly has no assets to protect although it would clear the slate. It might be worth doing just for that peace of mind.
                  Steve

                  * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                  * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                  * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                  Comment


                    #24
                    Originally posted by disneysteve View Post

                    You said in your first post that she has no savings and no assets. I'd say she need not worry about paying anything back because she has no means of doing so. Let them send her collection letters for the rest of her days. If they want to sue her, let them sue her. There's nothing for them to get from the sounds of it. I would say she should file bankruptcy but there's really no need to do that if she truly has no assets to protect although it would clear the slate. It might be worth doing just for that peace of mind.
                    I wouldn't file for bankruptcy yet BUT I might use thar possibility to negotiate with the hospital on medical bills. I think she can get out of this mess with help from her kids, esp if she does have an income. Unless the debt load is crushing her, I would put off pulling the nuclear button on this.
                    Last edited by Scallywag; 01-16-2021, 07:26 PM.

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                      #25
                      Originally posted by HundredK View Post

                      Yes, I pulled both their credit reports. My dad's was great - he paid every bill he ever had under his own name. He did die with lots of credit card debt, but he always kept up the minimum payments at least. They live in a joint property joint debt state, so that'll be my mom's burden to pay back (I will try my best to negotiate it). My poor mom though, it's a mess. So many collections, late payments, etc. Lots of credit card debt with payments made occasionally, late fees galore, enormous interest rates. And keep in mind he fully managed all of their finances and never would allow her to look or be involved, actively hid everything from her, told her everything was fine and that she was too dumb to understand finances. Such a great guy, huh?
                      I'm so sorry. I have a parent with mental health issues but they aren't a sociopath (which it sounds your father was).

                      Are the interest charges on credit cards? I'd suggest calling each bank, explaining the situation, drop the potential B bomb and ask them to lower interest rates on the debt. If at all possible, I'd roll all the balance over to a 0% APR balance transfer card. I don't know if it would happen, given her credit but it's worth a try. Or if you & your sibling have the money and can afford it, pay off the highest credit card(s) first and help her follow the debt snowball method.

                      She might benefit from Financial Peace University, btw. Please look into it, if possible. Also, she might need emotional support & personal counseling to get over this betrayal. Hugs to her from me.

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                        #26
                        I wouldn't worry about credit or paying off any debt. With no assets or income, first order of business should be to figure out how she's going to live and get by month to month; food, housing, utilities, etc.
                        Get things stabilized, then start investigating the options on those other issues.

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                          #27
                          It seems like everyone has offered up some good solutions. I just want to offer my condolences to you and your family. Even when someone is challenging like it sounds like he was, there's lots of complexity around losing someone. I hope you and your brother are able to help your mom get some stability in her situation and she has the remainder of her years to find some peace.

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                            #28
                            Originally posted by disneysteve View Post

                            You said in your first post that she has no savings and no assets. I'd say she need not worry about paying anything back because she has no means of doing so. Let them send her collection letters for the rest of her days. If they want to sue her, let them sue her. There's nothing for them to get from the sounds of it. I would say she should file bankruptcy but there's really no need to do that if she truly has no assets to protect although it would clear the slate. It might be worth doing just for that peace of mind.
                            This sure is tempting to do, but I hate to think of her having to deal with that sort of thing for the rest of her life, constant harassment by creditors. Always seeing letters and calls coming in mentioning the name of the guy who abused her for so long. Ugh.

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                              #29
                              Originally posted by HundredK View Post

                              This sure is tempting to do, but I hate to think of her having to deal with that sort of thing for the rest of her life, constant harassment by creditors. Always seeing letters and calls coming in mentioning the name of the guy who abused her for so long. Ugh.
                              What's the alternative, though? If she has no savings and no assets, she can't pay them. Bankruptcy is to protect your assets from creditors so you don't lose your house, for example, but she has nothing to protect, so filing is really pointless.
                              Steve

                              * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                              * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                              * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                              Comment


                                #30
                                Originally posted by disneysteve View Post
                                What's the alternative, though? If she has no savings and no assets, she can't pay them. Bankruptcy is to protect your assets from creditors so you don't lose your house, for example, but she has nothing to protect, so filing is really pointless.
                                The alternative is that I negotiate as best I can and pay these things for her. But there is a limit as to how much of that I am willing to do because I don't want to compromise my own retirement situation. I won't have any kids to bail me out when I'm old. It's a really tough thing to contemplate, to find the line between doing the good and decent thing for her and deciding that she really did choose to be in that situation for 45 years and letting her see some of the fallout of that. Mental illness really complicates things.

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