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Poor estate planning leaves heir with unexpected debt

Many hope to leave a little something behind for their loved ones when they pass from this life. With the help of careful estate planning, they may be able to simplify the often complex process that follows when someone dies in Oklahoma. However, without solid advice and guidance, it is possible that well-meaning loved ones may leave their heirs with unintended burdens.

One example of such a burden involves a man who inherited a home after his grandmother passed away. The home was in disrepair, but the man and his family lovingly proceeded to restore it by replacing the plumbing, replastering the ceiling, repairing beams and stripping wallpaper. What they did not realize was that, although the mortgage on the house had been paid off, the grandmother had taken a second mortgage to finance repairs she planned to make.

After they had put a great deal of work into the home, they received a letter from the bank demanding immediate repayment of the $30,000 mortgage. The bank wanted a $4,000 minimum deposit to prevent foreclosure. Since the man does not have that amount of money, it may mean they will lose their beloved home and all the hard work they had accomplished to refurbish it.

While the family has started a GoFundMe account, they have not met their goal. Unfortunately, this is not an uncommon occurrence when people inherit Oklahoma property, particularly when inheriting property on which there is an existing mortgage that must be satisfied. An estate planning attorney can help people prepare their wills to minimize the difficulties for those left behind.

Source: wxyz.com, "Inherited home comes with surprise mortgage", Oct. 10, 2017

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