If a Will states all debts to be paid by an estate, musta beneficiarypay off a lien that is on a bequest?

Asked on October 7, 2011 under Estate Planning, Iowa


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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss.  The exact terminology as stated in the Last Will and Testament needs to be reviewed in order to give any guidance here.  And it needs to be read in conjunction with the law in your state.  Here is why.  many Wills state that the executor is to pay all "enforceable unsecured debt" which is terminology used to make sure that old debts or debts discharged can not be revived against that estate by creditors. But some states have laws contradictory to this so you need to check. As for liens such as mortgages, etc., the Will generally states that the property is taken "subject to" the encumbrances upon it, which means the mortgage or loan.  So what the asset is that is being given to you and how the Will reads matters here.  Good luck.

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