I am new to this site as I'm only just recently widowed. My husband passed away on the 12th August after only 5 months on from being diagnosed with terminal pancreatic and liver cancer. I nursed him through it at home which was horrible for me and my children to see, especially my 11 year old. My husband refused to talk about finances or our company business. He just didn't want to deal with losing our livelyhood. He and I were just consumed by the cancer. I now have been left to sort everything and its so overwhelming...clearing out his lockup, which is packed and I can't find another decorator to buy the stock. I've been told that I'm liable for all his debts and I have no savings as we used them to buy a miracle cure off the internet. I've just been told the carers allowance which I was receiving for 8 wks after he passed to help get by, is now going to be taken out of any other benefit. So now I have to pay the morgage on just £75. Just that after paying tax, NI all our lives.
So reason why I am angry is that .....................my husbands' refusal to deal with things as left me in debt, probably homeless. Why did he do that? He could of made himself bankrupt sold things when he was least sick. Got help from people he new, even told me where is scaffold is stored. But no????????? The tears are rolling I can't grieve as I have too much to sort out. I can't do Christmas, don't want to do trees, cards and stuff. I want to go far away with my daughter so we can escape it all. How can I do that with no money. I can't even pay for a Headstone. Yeah.... £3500 for the funeral, whats all that about? Far too much! They just take advantage of us.
Cancer has taken my father at the age of 41 and now my husband at the age of 52 after only 25 years of marriage. I am only 44.....too much, too young. I hate all of this. Why ? I'm a nice person done nobody any harm. Why oh why? Feel like I'm being punished! Wished he had helped me.

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Kerry, wow I'm so sorry for your loss. It is hard enough to deal with loosing a spouse, but to have all that on top of it is very sad. First let me say I think you can file bankrupt on his estate and busness. I have a friend who had to do that. I'm not sure about the laws where you live but please check into it and if you are in the united states get to social security if you haven't already. Kerry you are at the right place I'm sure you have been reading the post here, and see you are not alone with the possabilty of loosing everything because of finances. I think it is the worst thing to happen to anyone and not fair.What you are feeling is very (normal) we don't care for that word here, I know right now your world is falling down around you. The best place you can be to get moral support, and express yourself and your feelings is here. We care we understand, we feel the same pain, and we give hugs, to quote our resident HUG giver hugs are good and hugs real, so welcome,god bless and hugs
I know most people hate the word "probate" also but they can be a lifesaver in your situation. Probate courts work to clear the debts of an estate as much as anything else. I read their website and learned that clearing debts is their main function nowadays. When you file they will discuss all this. Please look into it. You might not be eligible for social security because of your young age but do check. I thought because my husband and I were only married 4 years that I wasn't eligible but I was and it has been a big help having his widows benefits. There are lots of options out there and and I know you are feeling totally overwhelmed at the moment so "STOP AND BREATH". Check out some of the links attached to this website and you will see lots of advice on these issues there too. Please take care of yourself. I'm sure your husband didn't mean to leave you in this situation but he was overwhelmed with the "c" word to and just couldn't focus.. Lots of hugs from all of us here..
kerry: my god i am so sorry for your loss also sorry for the situtation you are in i was billed for the balance from the ambulance that took george to the hospital when he had a heart attack mind you he was already dead he died in our apt. when i called the hospitals billing office i was advised that i am responsible for the balance since i was he spouse. i told them first of all how can you bill a person that passed the bills would come in his name i told them i do not have the money they advised me if i do not pay i will be turned over to a collection agency i figured send them $ 1.00 a month this way they cannot send me to a collection agency the hospital emergency room billed me for $50.00 i was confused because george was already dead i was advised that since he was not a in patient i will be responsible for the bill. again $1.00 a month is better than nothing i agree with virginia look into filing bankruptcy it is not fair but you can do it we are all here for you bless you
The bad news is that if the deceased person owned property it will no longer pass to the surviving spouse. Under the law changes to the insolvency act of 2000 now allows for the property to be included in the assets of the person that has died to be disposed of to pay their debts. If they were joint owners of a property the official receiver can then apply to the courts to reclaim the portion of the home from the surviving spouse and again force the sale of the home. This order can be obtained any time up to five years after the date of death of the bankrupt. So no hope there. One door opens another shuts as they say. I live in the UK and yes I'm on parents widows pension £67.47 which is topped up to £75 with Employment support allowance as long as I'm sick, Sick with worry that is! Your advise is most appreciated....... Thank you x x hugs
kerry: try to talk to someone even if you can a free consultation with a atty. i wish you luck i know george did not have a will in jersey city i had no problem i had to change everything over to my name bringing papers to the bank ( not that we had much)my sons took care of everything else. wishing you luck again see if you can get information from the probate office or someother place good luck
Kerry, My husband died on Aug 17, 2010. He left me with no will, life insurance or savings, we had just started a new business in March 2010. So i know how you feel about being stuck not know whats going on or where to turn. First contact Social Security you should be able to get benefits for your daughter and you too while she is still a minor. Also, I'm not sure what state you are in but there are probate limits and if your name is not on his credit cards you are not legally responsible for his debts. Check with the mortgage company to see if you have mortgage insurance (we didn't) but that may help. As far as your car payments go, go to whom ever holds the loan they may be able to deferr the payments for a few months to help you get settled into whats going on. Thats the problem we all have here, the world won't stop and let us catch up, but don't forget that your daughter has lost her dad and she needs you to help her thru this as much as you need her. I also know that in our area Hospice offers free counseling even if you weren't using them. My prayers are with you,I hope you find some peace, try to remember the love you both shared not the problem that was out of your control.
Dear Kerry,

I am so, so very sorry for your loss, and I am sorry for the additional financial burden you are bearing, which is totally unfair and leaves you feeling somewhat ambivalent - your anger at your husband's non-decisions/indecision together with your grieving and bereavement over his death.

Alas, I have found myself in a similar situation - the one grace is that my husband kept his finances and his business totally separate from mine, because his business had declined precipitously (he was a clinical psychologist), and he was concerned about bankruptcy.

That being said, he died intestate, with no will and no insurance - I cremated him, with no funeral service; I used California Cremation Services, which charged $795.00. I later held a Memorial Dinner at the very lovely Summit House in Fullerton for friends, family and colleagues - about $2200.

I paid off the smaller creditors (janitor, alarm service, water service, etc) from my own salary; his Business Line of Credit - I simply told them (and a friend who happens to be an attorney also called on my behalf) that there was no estate, there was no insurance. To their credit, Bank of America just wrote off their losses (and even though I hate the thought of not paying a bill, I cannot summon up enough sympathy for BofA; I don't think they will be standing along the 91 Freeway with a sign: "Will do Bank for Food.....")

The one that gave me the most trouble was (grrrrr) AT&T; they wanted $4500.00 for his Yellow Pages ad. After numerous letters, calls, mailings of the _death certificate_, they would not relent; they said that "they hadn't been notified in sufficient enough time to remove his listing" Well, excusez moi - I guess I should have had Byron DIE a little earlier! After I got his office closed down, and most creditors settled, I got a Post Office box for his business in case any important correspondence/clients wanting records would come in (I had sent out 2,000 letters informing his clients of his death, and whom the Custodian of Record was (a colleague))

AT&T kept sending collection letters to the P.O. Box; my attorney friend told me that I was in no way liable, and to disregard them. Now that his P.O. Box is closed, I haven't seen anything from them - I guess they've given up - somehow, I don't think AT&T will be by the side of the 60 Freeway with a sign, "Will Do Phone/Web for Food"!

Now I am facing the toughest, most relentless, bordering-upon-the-omnipotent agency of all: The Department of The Treasury/Internal Revenue Service (gasp!). Byron liquidated his 401k in 2008, because he could no longer work the same hours, and his tax advisor had told him it could be done as a 'hardship' withdrawal. Weeeeeellll, fast-forward to 2010, and the IRS is telling moi that they want $9,500 (tax + penalties) because he liquidated his 401k prior to age 59 1/2. I've filed a petition with the Tax Court - but I am not hopeful; I don't want to go to Club Fed, and I look terrible in _orange_!

From your posting, it appears that you are a British Citizen; alas, I am not sure what the laws are in your country, but I would try to find someone who could wade through the morass, and help you clear things up.

Wisdom, grace, peace and blessings be upon you - Yaca Attwood Perkins
I will tell you that I forced my husband to do a will. I worked for a county gov. at a court house in new jersey and working there I learned plenty and one being if you die intestate, without a will, and have children from a previous marrage or relationship that is NOT the surviving spouses then they split 50% and the spouse gets 50% well that was our situation. He had been married before and had 3 children we had none. when i told him this, he's like no way you get it all, so i brought home a pamphlit on it showed it to him he still didn't believe it. I don't need to tell you the umm discuations we got in over it. So I took a life ins. policy out on him before we got married, then when he got sick i made an appointment with the laywer it is free for the disabled and vets. I made him get dressed and said lets go. Well by this time and several talks prior to this he went. By the grace of god I was able to find out earley enough to get it done. then as soon as things were settled after he passed i went and got one.
thx for your comments Virginia. My Bill was estranged from his one son due to our marriage and was adament that due to his son disowning him at our marriage he didn't want him to inherit. California would have required 50-50 too so Bill made sure everything possible was in my name. We moved to South Carolina and he made sure I was beneficiary of all investments and insurance. Bill did make up with his granddaughter 2 months before his passing but never with the son and even tho I kept her posted of all happenings in his declining health and even offered a plane ticket to the granddaughter she never came and therefore Bill advised that nothing was to be changed. He set aside a few jewelry items to pass to his great grandson and that was it. I had a special photo book made in memory for the granddaughter and her family and sent it with the jewelry. 2 weeks after Bill passed I got a call from the granddaughter asking if there was anything else left for them and I explained that no she had it all and if there were any questions she needed to get the full story of the "estrangement/disownment" from her father. To this day (9 months next week) I have not heard a single word from any of them. I can only be grateful they didn't try to force any issues of this in court. I had tried so hard to help get things right when Bill started declining which was how I contacted the granddaughter and am very disappointed they are so hard. He kept telling me they were "money only" people but I just couldn't fathom it. I only have one daughter and she and I are so close and she loved Bill as her "daddy" even tho she is 40 and we were only married 4 1/2 years. She was back and forth across the country from California many many times that last 6 months and was "mad as hell" at Bill's "family". She stood with me at Bill's side while his life passed on and cried her heart out. She even promised him to take care of me and move to SC to be with me so he could pass in peace. I have been blessed that finances were pretty clear cut when he passed tho it took me awhile to realize I was eligible for his social security and got the back pay on that. I am having a little problem with IRS on some back pay from monies drawn early in 08 to pay medical expenses but they are working with me on small payments due to my hardship so think that will work out okay.I have a little more on credit cards than normal for the same reason but its working out. I was shocked to learn that 2 of my major credit cards were automatically cancelled because "Bill was the cardholder and I was only a signer". Never knew about this "rule". So happy that to keep my own credit in tack I have always had a couple in my own name so now this is what I have. (Been divorced before so learned fast why a woman must have some cards of her own)..
Kerry,

I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I lost my wife to liver cancer. Unfortunatley this type of cancer does not give you much time to sort things out. My wife died 6 months after diagnosis. She was 41 and we were only married 9 years. We have a 6 year old son and 8 year old daughter.

I think our stories are similar and we are feeling the same things. I do not know how to help you with your financial situation as I am not familiar with the laws in the UK.

I just want to you to know that you are not alone. If you need someone to talk to please feel free to contact me. I wish you all the best and hope we both can find some happiness somewhere in the future.
Kerry, I am so sorry for your loss and the financial problems left in the wake of your husband's death. Your anger is understandable, and I suspect it's good that you're getting it out. I lost my husband in an accident that, frankly, didn't have to happen, so I'm no stranger to anger. (I've flipped off Steve's photos more than once in the past few weeks - why, oh why, couldn't he have been more careful and spared me this pain?)

I'll echo what others have suggested here: Find an attorney. I know money is an issue, but perhaps there are low-cost or free services? You've asked some good questions that I think need legal expertise to answer, and the advice may end up paying for itself. My husband left a will, but it has to be probated, so I hired an attorney. Some waters are not meant to be navigated without expert help.

Finally, you did nothing wrong, and you are not being punished, however it feels. Be gentle with yourself. Fate has been hard enough on you already; don't add to it unnecessarily if you can help it. Hugs to you.

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