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  #1  
Old 10 July 2018, 08:52 PM
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Tsk, Tsk PayPal told customer her death breached its rules

PayPal wrote to a woman who had died of cancer saying her death had breached its rules and that it might take legal action as a consequence.

The firm has since acknowledged that the letter was "insensitive", apologised to her widower, and begun an inquiry into how it came to be sent.

https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-44783779?SThisFB
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  #2  
Old 10 July 2018, 09:11 PM
overyonder overyonder is offline
 
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A bad letter template is probably what it is.

Debts upon one's death aren't (necessarily) erased when the person dies. The estate still has to pay all debts from all remaining assets.

OY
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  #3  
Old 10 July 2018, 09:15 PM
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PayPal is a large enough entity that I'm sure being advised that one of the customers is deceased is not that uncommon a situation. I would guess they probably have a process for it that was not correctly followed in this case.
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  #4  
Old 11 July 2018, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by overyonder View Post
A bad letter template is probably what it is.

Debts upon one's death aren't (necessarily) erased when the person dies. The estate still has to pay all debts from all remaining assets.

OY
IANAL and laws may vary according to jurisdiction, but if someone has insufficient assets to cover their debts, it is possible for the "beneficiaries" of the will to reject the will (not sure if that's the right word) at which point any debtors will have no further recourses. Of course, this means that beneficiaries cannot claim any mementoes they might have been given in the will. Accepting anything, means accepting the debts but if there's not really anything of sentimental value, you can reject it and be off the hook.
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Old 11 July 2018, 02:12 PM
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Alarm,
Where did you get the idea that accepting a memento would mean accepting the debt?

Seaboe
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Old 11 July 2018, 02:29 PM
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When we settled my in-laws will in Quebec we were cautioned not to disperse funds or any item of value until after we knew of any debts, liens, etc that might be outstanding. It was made clear to us that as beneficiaries we did not inherit debt but if we took any of the monies etc from the estate we could be liable later if a claim was made. The notary may have overstated the situation but she had us concerned enough that we waited for all the dust to settle before moving forward.
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  #7  
Old 11 July 2018, 02:34 PM
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According to this CNN article, about the only debt that heirs would be automatically responsible for would be unpaid medical bills*. If a house is inherited, the mortgage does becomes the responsibility of the heir but the heir can disclaim specific items. PayPal debts would probably be considered the same as credit card debt, which is not transfered to heirs.

One question I have is how does one get into debt with PayPal in the first place? Do they have a credit card service now?

* 30 states have such a law
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  #8  
Old 11 July 2018, 02:47 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
One question I have is how does one get into debt with PayPal in the first place? Do they have a credit card service now?
Yes they do. I have had a PayPal credit card for some six or seven years now or so. ETA: It has been my preferred method to make online purchases for some time.

Last edited by iskinner; 11 July 2018 at 02:56 PM. Reason: To add spending habit comment.
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Old 11 July 2018, 04:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seaboe Muffinchucker View Post
Alarm,
Where did you get the idea that accepting a memento would mean accepting the debt?

Seaboe
I should have said a memento of value, of course...
My knowledge of debt and deceased individuals is strictly from the debt collection side of thing.
If an item has no "real" value, it would probably not be a big deal. But if you want to keep Grandma's cabin, or her car, or her collection of valuable antique china, then you might run into trouble.

Quote:
Originally Posted by GenYus234 View Post
According to this CNN article, about the only debt that heirs would be automatically responsible for would be unpaid medical bills*. If a house is inherited, the mortgage does becomes the responsibility of the heir but the heir can disclaim specific items.
My experience is that property that is shared ownership would transfer without a will being involved. If it was owned wholly by the deceased individual, transferring it to anyone else would involve the will, which would then involve the succession/executor having to resolve the debts of the estate before disbursing any goods/monies.
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Old 11 July 2018, 04:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alarm View Post


My experience is that property that is shared ownership would transfer without a will being involved. If it was owned wholly by the deceased individual, transferring it to anyone else would involve the will, which would then involve the succession/executor having to resolve the debts of the estate before disbursing any goods/monies.
This is absolutely what we were told as well. We paid any outstanding debts (very little) out of the estate and had there been no money to use then we as executors would not have been liable to pay out of pocket. However if there was property of value then the heirs didn't get to go skipping off into the sunset until any claims against the estate were settled.
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Old 11 July 2018, 04:35 PM
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I think it is incorrect to say that (g)you are accepting the debt. If you accept something of value and there are debts against the estate that are not covered by the remainder of the estate then you are responsible for up to the value of what you accepted, but not beyond that.

I.E. If the debt against the estate is $5000 and you accepted property valued at $1000, you would owe $1000 or have to return the property you accepted. But either way you would not be responsible the $4000 not covered by the estate.

You have not accepted the debt by accepting the property, unless some debt collector managed to trick you into doing so because of some misplaced sense of responsibility. Which unfortunately some collectors try to do.

ETA: As Alarm and Sue have said. The proper way is for all the debts to be discharged before the estate is provided to inheritors. But sometimes the debt is not known until after property is dispersed and then things can get more complicated.
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Old 11 July 2018, 05:39 PM
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I don't think you can legally take something from an estate and replace it with cash before the estate is settled. It just doesn't work that way, does it?
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  #13  
Old 11 July 2018, 06:39 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alarm View Post
If it was owned wholly by the deceased individual, transferring it to anyone else would involve the will.
If there is a will. If there is no will the laws of the appropriate jurisdiction would govern. In either case yes, the debts would be discharged before the estate is distributed.

Seaboe
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Old 12 July 2018, 01:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by iskinner View Post
I think it is incorrect to say that (g)you are accepting the debt. If you accept something of value and there are debts against the estate that are not covered by the remainder of the estate then you are responsible for up to the value of what you accepted, but not beyond that.

I.E. If the debt against the estate is $5000 and you accepted property valued at $1000, you would owe $1000 or have to return the property you accepted. But either way you would not be responsible the $4000 not covered by the estate.

You have not accepted the debt by accepting the property, unless some debt collector managed to trick you into doing so because of some misplaced sense of responsibility. Which unfortunately some collectors try to do.
This varies from state to state, but if property or assets are transferred to a heir by the executor, and that the estate is determined to be insolvent, the EXECUTOR may be responsible for the value, because the executor has made an incorrect distribution.

Debtors have to be paid by the estate in an order defined by the law.

As per legalzoom:
Quote:
Risk to Executors
If you're the executor of an insolvent estate, you might want to confer with a lawyer as soon as you realize what you're up against. If you make a mistake, the court might hold you personally responsible for funds you pay to a low-priority creditor at the expense of a creditor with higher priority. You might think you're doing the right thing by paying a medical bill for the decedent's last illness, but if your state's law dictates that other expenses must be paid first, you might have to reimburse the estate out of your own pocket.
As per what I said earlier, all debts remain valid and due by the estate when a person dies. Whether these debts get paid or not is based upon whether the estate is solvent or not. If the heirs receive the inventory and notice that the estate is insolvent, they are within their rights to refuse the estate, and let the executor pay the debts, and the heirs will receive nothing, and the debtors will be paid in an order determined by the law.

It's important not to mix "executor" and "heirs" here.

OY
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  #15  
Old 13 July 2018, 05:37 PM
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Sometimes, "executor/executrix" and "heir/heiress" are the same, often they are not.

But yes, the executor has to ensure the debts of the estate are paid. if they cannot be paid, the executor has to inform the heirs who can then refuse the estate.

It's even "more fun" when some dies intestate!!

As Seaboe stated, then the government gets involved!
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  #16  
Old 13 July 2018, 07:13 PM
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Dying is too damned complicated. Think I'll try to avoid it.
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  #17  
Old 14 July 2018, 01:07 AM
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If you're the decedent, it's not really your problem.
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  #18  
Old 16 July 2018, 02:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by E. Q. Taft View Post
Dying is too damned complicated. Think I'll try to avoid it.
Death and taxes, man, death and taxes!
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