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I am writing a fictional story in which a 35-year-old mother of two dies due to drug overdose. She leaves behind two children, a teenager (Around 15-17) and a young child (4-6). The mother’s elder daughter and she look strikingly similiar, and in order to prevent foster care, the elder daughter fakes that she is the mother while the dead body is that of the teenage girl.

Despite the rather unbelievable storyline, I am trying to make this as believable as possible. Problem is, I have been fortunate enough to have very few deaths in the family, and none close to me. I have never attended a funeral, or even an open casket.

I need informations of what would be the legal procedures after the mother’s death. Considering the mother is believed to be the minor, this makes things a bit complicated. The mother died of either drug overdose, or a lethal mixing of various drugs and alcohol.

The teenager is rather responsible for her age, though her naivity is clear, as she is convincing herself that such a crazy plan will work. She is used to taking care of her younger sibling and sustaining a part-time job, but knows next to nothing about taxes, pin numbers, social security, etc.

Info needed:
1.) Legal proceedings after a “teen” death.
2.) Challenges the teenage daughter would face paying mother’s credit card debt and bad credit score.
3.) Challenges the teenage daughter would face in raising her younger sibling.
4.) After creating this convincing lie and going through with it for two years, how it might be discovered. (Possibly a subplot involving mother’s illegal activity.)

P.S. This is placed under Law Enforcement because I can find no better alternative category. Please suggest any you believe would be better.
Extra: Moneywise:

1.) At the mother’s death, there is a few hundred-thousand dollars worth of credit card debt, and a few missing house payments. The mother has been in and out of debt for years, leaving a bad credit score.

2.) There is a house mortgage.
3.) There is a car mortgage.
4.) The younger sibling was most likely just enrolled in school, just about to start Kindergarden.

The teenager, as previously stated, is naive, but trying to be the best mother as she can. She has a twisted sense of what being a good mother is, but she tries to do the things she has heard is right, such as cooking lunch and dinner, meeting the teacher, and regularly attend church.

The church is small, but a church member is willing to babysit the younger sibling for an hour or so when the older sibling is working.

The older sibling becomes religiously involved to use it as an excuse for why she is “turning over a new leaf”. As she does so, she contemplates Christianity herself.

1 Thought on Legalities Following Family Member’s Death:?
  1. Reply
    September 3, 2011 at 12:04 am

    iam not to sure what the exact legal proceedings would be but iam guessing if it was a teenager cps would be involved to look at the mother and to check with the school to find out if anyone had known about her drug problems. maybe she lies and gets a decent job managing a store where she can make enough to support herself and her younger sibling, or she becomes a stripper you can add some fun stuff to that. she might face getting the child to school doing parent teacher meetings pure survival. it could be her job finds out she is under aged contacts authority’s they re-open the case to find out exactly who she is and what shes all about maybe the school finds out from the sibling. PS is there any money involved if say you go with someones idea????

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