My mom's cousin Larry passed away earlier this year. He wasn't in touch with any family for the later part of his life, but when he became ill, he contacted my mom and she did a lot of work to help him.
Larry owned a house that was condemned. After he died, the city auctioned the property to pay outstanding debts owed to the city. After this was done, there was $8,000 left.
Now the city is contacting my mom (she is the only contact) and asking her what to do with this left over $8,000 and if she wants to go through probate (Larry died without a will).
We know that Larry died with debts larger than $8,000.
What should my mom do? If she does the probate process, will the debt collectors find out about it and take the money? It doesn't seem worth her time to do the probate process to help the debt collectors.