What is a beneficiary’s obligation to pay off a mortgage on an inherited house?

My father-in-law passed. My partner has the right of residency until she sells it. The Will states that 50% of the sale proceeds come to us. She says that we owe $45,000 for 1/2 of mortgage balance. Are we liable for the $45,000 balance?

Asked on September 2, 2014 under Estate Planning, Wyoming


M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  Here is the thing: the executor of the estate has a fiduciary obligation to pay off the debts and creditors of the estate, and the mortgage holder is indeed a creditor of the estate.  The "proceeds" would be the amount of the sale minus the pay off. I would consult with an attorney as soon as you can on this matter.  Good luck.

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