If someone dies owing extensive medical bills leaving only a house to his children, can the house be taken to pay his debts?

A man living with his 17 year old son died owing thousands of dollars in medical bills. Can the house he owned be taken away from his heirs? Are his children responsible for his debts? Is there any help available for his children to cover burial expenses? There is apparently no Will or Trust.

Asked on March 14, 2018 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

First of all, children are not responsible for their dead parent's debts. However, their parent's estate is responsible. Accordingly, all of the deceased's assets must be used/sold to pay off their creditors. Heirs only inherit what is left.


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