Deceased’s conservator signed promissory note to nursing home (money due). Deceased had will, leaving only asset to beneficiary. What happens?

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Deceased’s conservator signed promissory note to nursing home (money due). Deceased had will, leaving only asset to beneficiary. What happens?

Only asset is home in WV, left to beneficiary. Beneficiary recently qualified as executor of the will. Deceased resided in VA. Nursing home & other medical creditors owed money. Must home be sold to pay creditors? Are the debts attached to the property? Nursing home bill is approximately same value of the home.

Asked on May 10, 2009 under Estate Planning, Virginia

Answers:

B. B., Member, New Jersey Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 12 years ago | Contributor

The debts aren't attached to the property, but they are attached to the estate, which has the obligation to pay the lawful debts of the deceased.  Without some very unusual facts, none of which are suggested in the question, the creditors must be paid.

The beneficiary, as executor, has what is called a fiduciary duty, which means that the estate has to be handled in a proper and lawful manner, and not for the primary benefit of the beneficiary.  The executor would be smart to hire a lawyer who is experienced in wills and probate.  One place you can find qualified lawyers is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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