Q: Clear understanding. I'm in California of what I mean
I'm sorry I wasn't clear. After my mother passed I used her checking account to pay some of her bills as well as used a credit card. What will happen?
If you paid your mom's bills with her money, probably nothing much will happen. If you used her checks or credit card to pay for things for yourself, you could be at risk of civil or, potentially criminal liability. It's hard to evaluate that risk without knowing more about your circumstances. If you have a sibling that is angry because you spent mom's money on yourself without permission, you should talk to an experienced probate lawyer in your area right away. They may be able to keep it from becoming a criminal charge by showing any interested law enforcement people that you were a beneficial owner (i.e. if you were an heir at law and mom died without a will) of what you spent. A probate lawyer can help you with the issues related to a proper division of your mom's property and avoiding civil or criminal charges of embezzlement, conversion, or other misappropriation. Good luck.
PS: My comments here are for general information only and are not legal advice about your specific situation, nor do they establish an attorney-client relationship between us. Consult an attorney in your state for specific legal advice.
It is a complicated situation you are in. If you were a signer on her checking account and paid her bills there should not be an issue. Not knowing what the size of her estate was and whether a probate was necessary makes it hard to answer your question. If small, you should have consulted with an attorney on how to do an informal probate of a small estate. However using her credit cards after she passed when you were not on the account makes you personally liable for those charges as the use of the credit card was unauthorized and perhaps fraudulent in the eyes of the credit card company. Your best option in this situation is to contact legal aid in your jurisdiction to get advice for your the situation. Although your motives have very well been good, you should have consulted with counsel.
I wish you the best, but you need to consult with counsel.
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