Inheriting debt

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Inheriting debt

If a will exists, do heirs inherit the debt of the deceased?

Asked on June 29, 2009 under Estate Planning, North Carolina

Answers:

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

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

No.  Heirs don't inherit debt, with or without a will, unless the debt comes with the property inherited, such as a loan on a car owned by the deceased;  even in that situation, depending on the way the will is set up and the law of your state (I don't practice in North Carolina, and it might make a difference), the debt might be paid out of the estate, first.

However, the debts that are properly claimed against the estate have to be paid before whatever is left can be distributed to the heirs.  For advice on how this would work in your situation, you would need to have an attorney review the detailed facts of the estate's assets and debts.  One place to find a qualified lawyer is our website, http://attorneypages.com


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