Can I be held liable for my deceased mother’s debt?

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Can I be held liable for my deceased mother’s debt?

My mom died a year ago. She had no Will; she had no assets. Her home went into default. The bank is suing her and has named my siblings and I in the lawsuit as defendants. We did not raise an estate because she had a lot of medical bills and no assets. My father is also deceased and she did not remarry.

Asked on September 5, 2018 under Estate Planning, Pennsylvania

Answers:

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

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

As a general rule, children cannot be held liable for a deceased parent's debt. That is unless they agreed to be and in writing, or were on a joint account of some kind. 

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, you are not liable for any of your mother's debts unless you personally guaranteed or co-signed for them: one adult is not liable for another adult's debts without agreeing to cover them, even a parent's, with the narrow exception (not applicable here) that a spouse can be held liable for certain "necessary" (e.g. required medical care) debts of a spouse.


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