AZSRichard

Estate of deceased paying collections

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My wife's father passed January 2018.  He had a trust set up, as well as a pour over will, my wife is now executor and PR for both, as well as beneficiary.  The only asset of value in the estate was a small commercial strip mall that he was sole proprietor on.  We have since refinanced it and placed in our own LLC. 

Initially we were not able to locate the pour over will , and for a short time another family member held the PR status prior to my wife.  In that time, she manager to cash out and blow $14000 in stocks and a tax return.  We have put this issue behind us because the money and the means it was used is of little significance and would cost more headaches and lawyers fees to pursue it.  

My father in law had $35000 in credit card debt, some of which we are trying to have charged off, advising the creditors that the estate is insolvent.  However, there is about $17000 that has gone to a collections agency and they will only accept 70% without documentation for an accounting.  The only accounting we have is from the former PR and is of poor quality, which I fear would open more legal issues. 

Because the strip mall was removed from the trust when he refinanced it and never deeded back in, we are being advised by our lawyers that the building is considered an asset of the estate.

We have been advised by our lawyer that we need to negotiate and pay off this debt to close out probate and avoid any future legal or financial consequences. 

Any suggestions on how to handle the collections agency moving forward?  Should we place it in the hands of our lawyers to take it from here and negotiate a settlement better than we can?  We understand that they need to be paid, but we are limited in funds of our own as we proceed with these matters, paying out of our own pocket.

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