I am obligated to pay a debt my deceased mother owed to the state?

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I am obligated to pay a debt my deceased mother owed to the state?

My mother passed away in 2008 and 2 years later the health and TX health and human resource sent me a letter saying I had to pay the debt that my mother owed since I was on her lease. They told me I had to pay or my income will be garnished until the debt is paid. How can I get of paying a debt that my mother owed?

Asked on August 12, 2010 under Bankruptcy Law, Texas

Answers:

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

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

You need to seek help from someone in your area with this.  Generally, a party is not responsible for the debts of another upon death.  The estate of the person is responsible.  There are exceptions like when there is a contract that makes you "jointly and severally liable" meaning that you are responsible together and separately.  The type of lease you have here is unclear.  Do you mean a lease for an apartment?  Someone needs to read it on your behalf and tell you the best way to handle things.  And what happened to her estate assets may play a part as well.  In other words if they were all distributed without regard for debt that could be a problem.  Good luck.


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