If my late mother’s house is in foreclosure, are her beneficiaries responsible for any possible debt?

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If my late mother’s house is in foreclosure, are her beneficiaries responsible for any possible debt?

After my father died my mother allowed her home to go into foreclosure. She

has died recently and the home is still in a foreclosure status. There are no assets in my mother’s estate.

Asked on March 7, 2016 under Estate Planning, Illinois

Answers:

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

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

Beneficiaries are not liable for debts of an estate. The estate is responsible for paying off creditors of the deceased. If there are not enough assets to cover all debts, then they will extinguish as a matter of law. In other words, they will be written off. Bear in mind, to the extent that there are any assets in the estate, they must go to first pay off creditor claims; they cannot be distributed to the beneficiaries until all debts have been paid.


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