Am I liable for any of these estate debt, if the estate is insolvent?

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Am I liable for any of these estate debt, if the estate is insolvent?

I have been executrix for my deceased mother’s estate for 4 months now and it’s obvious that there is not enough value in the estate to cover all of mother’s debts. I have used some funds to cover travel (gas) and administrative costs.Through time bank fees have trimmed the small checking account and the still unlisted property has not been cleared of her hoarded goods and possessions. There are several liens against the property, a mortgage, and utility bills that accrued prior to shutdown. I do not have the personal funds to head off foreclosure at this point. What am I liable for?

Asked on May 1, 2012 under Estate Planning, Massachusetts

Answers:

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

Answered 9 years ago | Contributor

I am so sorry for your loss. Generally, you are not personally liable for her debt but you could have some liability if you mis handle or breach the duty. What you need to do is to negotiate the debt down to a manageable amount and try and stave off foreclosure.  That can be done by either a deed in lieu of foreclosure or a short sale.  Just make sure that the deficiency is waived.  It costs a bank a tremendous amount to foreclose and if they can avoid it they will.  Try and see about selling the possessions or getting friends to help you just bag and trash everything that is not of value.  If there are other beneficiaries here I would make sure that they are on board with everything and that you give them full disclosure and have them sign off on your decisions (which are ultimately yours).  Good luck.  


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