If I owe money to my father’s estate, does this disqualify me from receiving my portion of the inheritance?

Asked on July 12, 2015 under Estate Planning, Ohio


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

It doesn't disqualify you from receiving your portion: the two things--the money you owe, and the inheritance you receive--are separate. Of course, the executor can sue you to get the money for the estate; and if you owe alot of money (compared to the size of the estate), then it's possible that without the money from you, there won't be much to go around unless you repay. However, while at the end of the day, what you owe vs. what you receive may effectively "net out" (e.g. say you owe $20k and the executor demands it from you, but you inherit $40k--you effectively come out $20k ahead), legally, the two issues are separate, and you can inherit while owing.

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