If a friend of mine lent me money and we had a contract but he died before it was signed, do I still owe the money?

UPDATED: Jul 18, 2015

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If a friend of mine lent me money and we had a contract but he died before it was signed, do I still owe the money?

How does the estate contact me? Do they have a time limit in which to contact me?

Asked on July 18, 2015 under Estate Planning, Michigan


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 7 years ago | Contributor

Yes, you owe the money to the estate--the debt to the decedent (the person who died) has become a debt of the estate--and the estate could look to collect it from you; the estate could even sue you if necessary. The executor or administrator can contact you however works best for them--they can call, text, email, write, fax, etc.; there is no restriction on how they can contract you.

Even if your friend did not sign, the fact that you received the money creates an enforceable debt. (It is enforceable both as a contract--giving the money to you showed your friend's agreement to its terms--or on the principal of "unjust enrichment," or that it would be unfair to let you keep the money and not repay it.) They can look to enforce it until the end of the statute of limitations period, which will be several years.

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