What bills can I pay with estate funds?

My grandfather passed away in 2012 but my
grandmother left some of the utilities in his
name. She has now passed away and I am the
executor of the estate. I received the gas bill
and electric bill which are both in my
grandfathers name. Can I pay those bills using
my grandmothers estate funds and if not what
are the repercussions of doing so?

Asked on January 15, 2019 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

Are those bills for property, such as a home, which is part of the estate? If they are, then you can pay them using estate funds. The rule is that you may pay expenses of the estate: expenses of estate property or real estate; expenses to either legally preserve estate property (such as paying mortgages or taxes to avoid foreclosure of estate homes, or amounts due on car loans for vehicles which are part of the estate) or to physically preserve them (like repairs to estate homes); and expenses of administrating or managing the estate, such as legal or accounting fees.


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