Asked in Estate Planning, Real Estate Law and Probate for Tennessee

Q: Mother is terminal with 300K in medical debt. will the debt collectors stop me from adding ownership and maybe selling

She inherited her debt from her husband who passed 3 months ago. He was my stepfather but never legally adopted me. Her only asset is this house and land. Is there a way for me to put it in my name and stop the debt collectors from allowing me to renovate and increase value and possibly sell or rent. If they will always be on this house watching it and any renovations would just go towards them and her dad then I don't see a reason to put money into this just for to pay off her debt. also is adding my name a simple process as far as just showing a certificate of death or what I have to apply fully using credit and debt to income ratio

2 Lawyer Answers
Nina Whitehurst
Nina Whitehurst
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Crossville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: Your situation is actually a little more complicated than you realize and a full consultation would be required to help you sort this out. Be prepared to provide a copy of the death certificate for step-father, step-father's will (or confirm there was none), mother's will (or confirm there was none), a complete list of step-father's and mother's assets other than the house, confirm whether or not either of them ever received benefits from TennCare, and a family tree showing both of their descendants both living and deceased.

Anthony M. Avery agrees with this answer

Anthony M. Avery
Anthony M. Avery
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Estate Planning Lawyer
  • Knoxville, TN
  • Licensed in Tennessee

A: The type of real property involved might provide some alternatives to a simple Quit Claim Deed from Mother. Expect the medical providers to sue or TennCare to file a Lien and possible suit. Putting money into the home is probably not a good idea under any circumstances for several years. Hire a competent attorney to look at what Ms. Whitehurst suggests, and possibly look at some conveyance options. Time is of the essence.

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