Am I responsible for relative’s debt?

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Am I responsible for relative’s debt?

I was the recipient of a beneficiary deed on my aunt’s house upon her death. I have since sold the house. I am now being contacted by her credit card creditors. Am I responsible to pay those debts?

Asked on May 19, 2018 under Estate Planning, California

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you do not become responsible for your aunt's debts (other than any which you may have voluntarily guaranteed or co-signed) on her death, even if you inherit from her. If there were any liens on the property or legal actions filed to prevent the sale of the property before you sold it, and you did not satisfy such liens or resolve satisfactorily such legal claims, you could be liable for selling the property prematurely, without resolving the liens/claims, but in that case, you become liable because you did not allow creditors pursue their lawful remedies against the home. If there were were no such liens or legal actions/notices restraining transfers (e.g.. no lis pendens) filed against the home, then you should have no liability whatsoever, and no obligation to pay anyone anything.


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