Is there an estate value threshold where debt collectors have no claim after death?

My mother died and had an old car, an HD TV$, an old laptop, and about 1200 in a bank account solely in her name. Does any of this need to be divided up between debt collectors?

Asked on July 7, 2017 under Estate Planning, Washington

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No matter how small the estate, creditors can try to take whatever money or assets is in it. But since final expenses (e.g. funeral) and probate expenses are paid first, you can likely use the small amount of assets in your mother's estate for those expenses, leaving the creditors with nothing. And, of course, if they contact you, you can tell them how little there is--they may not even bother after that.


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