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Hello and thank you for your question. I will be very pleased to assist you. I'm a practicing lawyer in England with over 10 years experience.
Please accept my condolences for your loss.
It is important to note that you are not legally responsible for any of your mothers debts including her funeral costs. You are only responsible for such debts or costs if you personally formed a contract in your own right rather than as your mothers attorney. For example if you instructed funeral directors then this would constitute an agreement between you and they personally and you would be responsible for their fees. The burden of proof would be upon them to show that you did instruct them.
Similarly you are not responsible for care home fees unless you personally intructed their care - i.e. if you approached a care home and agreed to pay the fees personally.
You cannot be held responsible for any debts in your capacity as her attorney providing agreements were entered into in your mothers name with you acting as her attorney as opposed to you personally.
If your mothers estate has insufficient assets to pay all debts then it will be an insolvent estate and if this is the case you would do well to consider not acting as an executor but rather leaving the estate to the insolvency service to administer. The reason being that if you make a mistake in administration - insolvency rules are a little complex - you can be personally liable for any loss suffered by any third party for that mistake.
Does the above answer all your questions or is there anything I can clarify or help you with any further?
Thanks for your email. My mother had no estate as she signed over her home years ago to me. The funeral is being paid out of the money left which was £2000. The money owing to the care homes should of been coming out of her bank ie her pension but I made a mistake cancelling the direct debit when she kept moving homes. It was being funded by the local authorities. I have had so much on dealing with everything alone that I forgot all about this and now there is no money left. I am also executor to the will.
Sorry for the delay in reverting to you. Based on what you say you will not be responsible for the care home fees personally. The care home has a claim against your mothers estate not you.
As your mothers estate would appear to be insolvent you should be careful in acting as executor. If you have not yet started you would do well to consider not acting and leaving it to the insolvency service to deal with. If you have already started to act you can still contact the insolvency service for assistance.
It is important you pay any creditors proportionately in the correct way from such money as is left.
Other than this you have no personal liability subject as above.
Is there anything else I can help you with?