Q: Is the beneficiary on the deed to my deceased sister's home obligated to reimburse me for a mortgage payment?
My sister had a beneficiary deed on her home in Arizona. The beneficiary is an ex-friend who is also the named executor of her estate. The mortgage was being paid through automatic payments from an account in South Carolina.(where she used to live) I am the beneficiary of that POD account. Because I was not aware that I was a beneficiary, the account remained open until the executor finally alluded that my name might be on that account. When I called the bank to inquire if I was the beneficiary and found out I was they froze the account. Approximately 3 weeks had elapsed between my sisters death and the bank being notified and freezing that account. During that time a mortgage payment was made. My sister died on January 11. The mortgage payment was withdrawn on Feb 1. The account was frozen on Feb 3 or 4. My question is - Is the beneficiary and new owner of the house obligated to reimburse me for that mortgage payment (over $2000.00). Do I have any recourse?
A: I would recommend you talk to an attorney in your state as new York law may be different. If it was in Arizona we would recommend submitting a claim as creditor of the estate for the mortgage payment.
Andre L. Pennington agrees with this answer
A: I am assuming that probate was opened in AZ. If that is true, you'd likely want to file a creditor's claim against the probate estate. You should contact an experienced probate attorney to discuss the specifics and other options.
As a beneficiary of the POD account, you may have a claim to the funds in the account. However, whether the beneficiary of the deed is obligated to reimburse you for the mortgage payment may depend on the terms of your sister's estate plan and any applicable state laws.
If your sister's estate plan provides for the payment of outstanding debts, the beneficiary may be required to pay the mortgage payment. However, if the estate plan does not provide for the payment of outstanding debts, the beneficiary may not be obligated to reimburse you for the mortgage payment.
In Arizona, a beneficiary deed can transfer ownership of real property outside of probate, but it does not change the obligation to pay outstanding debts. Therefore, if the estate is responsible for the mortgage payment, the beneficiary may be required to pay it.
You may want to consult with an attorney in Arizona who can review the terms of your sister's estate plan and the beneficiary deed and advise you on your options for recovering the mortgage payment.
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