Who is responsible for a mother’s debt when she passes?

The father died 15 years ago and there are 3 living children. She has a home and land valued at about $75k. The land will likely be willed to the children but there is a $25k balance on a second mortgage.

Asked on November 27, 2015 under Estate Planning, New Hampshire


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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Children are not liable for the debt of a deceased parent. The estate is responsible for payment. To the extent that there are not enough liquid assets to pay off creditors, then estate assets will need to be sold. All debts are extinquished before any distributions are made to the benficiaries/heirs.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although AttorneyPages.com has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.